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Radar/Lidar detectors

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  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    In 1992 or 93, when I lived in Moscow, Russia, I saw replacement rear-view mirrors with built-in detector in an electronics shop. They disappeared soon, probably the company went bankrupt.

    Looks as it was a good idea.
  • hhunterhhunter Posts: 34
    An earlier report was given on running V1 with P8500 so here are some initial impressions of the X50 with V1.8.
    The Escort seems to false less on the K band and probably X as well. When it comes to real radar, the X50 seems to register this as early and sometimes faster than the V1. Of course, the V1 readily let me know one of the K readings was coming from behind.
    I went on a road known to use Pop over the Memorial Day weekend and the X50 reported Pop while the V1 was silent.
  • kirbstoykirbstoy Posts: 53
    When I bought my last detector I didn't want to hassle with the cord so I bought BEL's cordless model. I have it mounted on the driver's-side visor. I wedge a plastic sunglasses case between the visor and the headliner to level-out the detector. I do have the green shade band going across the windshield but the front of the detector "sees" through only the bottom 1/2 inch or so of the band. Last week on a flat portion of the freeway I got a strong warning of a Ka band (CHP) radar at about 3/4 - 1/mile. I'm ok with the detector's performance and placement. I'd be interested in any comments folks have on the new Escort Solo cordless detector. Thanks !
  • hhunterhhunter Posts: 34
    From various web pages, newsgroups and online forums, I have seen reports of Pop radar in use in the following states: FL, GA, MS, Montana, NV, OH, OK, WVa.
    Can other states be added to this list?
  • cartalkcartalk Posts: 134
    I am in the market for a new radar detector and have a $300 limit (knocks out the Valentine). I'm considering the Escort 8500 X50 or the Bel V985 or RX65 (OK $329).

    Questions:

    Is the cord on either of these long enough to mount on the windshield of a BMW 330i which seems long/deep from the windshield to the outlet?

    I have seen different opinions on this board and other websites about where to mount. Assuming I purchase a corded model, what is the best location?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,908
    I have lived with the Bel 985 for 4 years. It has two cords; one is coiled, the other is long and straight and app 12 ft long. If I remember correctly, at the time the top three were Valentine One, Escort 8500 and the Bel 985. I paid 220? for the Bel 985. At the time that was the best bang for the buck of the top three; vs, 400 and 300 respectively.

    I am sure you can find a BMW 330i site,in case you are one of the folks that wish to hard wire. I personally have been using the coil cord. I like being able to put it in ANY car I have and/or any car I happen to drive.

    To me, the radar detector almost always (high 90's%) confirms what I already know, even when I don't see it! To the extent it helps to sharpen your visual driving skills, it is GREAT. If you have GREAT visual driving skills then oxymoronically, you don't NEED it!!?? :)

    To the extent it makes you lazy with your visual driving skills it is BAD! In CA anyway, there are a huge % of CHP's that either do not put it on, put it on ONLY when they have someone ANYWAY, or do not have it, so obviously in those cases a radar detector does not help. This of course gets back to the strong case for sharpening your visual driving skills, I was talking about!! :)

    The best mounting location is highest on the windshield (centerline), either right under the rear view mirror or just above it! I don't like the coiled cord hanging in visual range so I personally mount it on the lower 1/3 of the windshield (center)
  • I've been using the Escort 8500 for the past 4 years, and I have nothing but praise for this product. The new 8500 X50 is likely even better.

    Ruking1 is quite correct in saying that even when running a high quality detector, one must always try to maintain as much situational awareness as possible ("read the road"), but I would also add that one should also closely study and learn from what the detector can tell the perceptive driver.

    In my opinion, one of the main advantages of a fine detector like the 8500 is its often uncanny ability to detect faint bursts of *instant-on/off* radar from several miles away (depending on how flat the terrain is). I can't tell you how many times I've been on highways when my 8500 has briefly chirped just once or twice, only to soon come upon a patrol car several miles down the road, often with a vehicle pulled over and being ticketed.

    If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading-up on radar/lidar technology at web sites such as http://www.radartest.com/article.asp?articleid=5000
  • I have a V1 and a X50. I'll still take the V1 if I had to pick. I have seen the X50 slow or not respond to radar and laser that the V1 did. And the arrows are GREAT.

    With that being said, the V1, X50 and I suspect Bel (since BEL and Escort are one company now, and I assume performance is about the same) use the same type of power cord. A phone cord. The cord can be any cord from Radio Shack and you can direct wire it or buy the cigarette plug from Valentine and plug the V1 or the X50 (or BEL) into it. Doing this doesn't remote the display but allows you to put the unit and power just about anywhere. I buy the thin phone cord and hide it.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,908
    Today is an interesting example(albeit gallows example) . I made a 100 mile R/T on a 4/5 lane each way local freeway. On the way up, there were easily 3 squad cars, 1. CHP 2. County Sheriff 3. Local Police 4. unmarked under cover (gee that makes four eh?) Not a peep from the Bel 985 radar detector. Obviously upon target acquisition, I slowed down from 85 mph (65 mph freeway) and every time they instantly passed me.

    Further up the road there were two separate lone trolling CHP's- peep less.

    On the way back, there were at least three more. Again not a peep. Farther down the road, there was a seemingly horrific accident on a parrallel road (to the freeway) and there were 1-2 motorbikes and 6 CHP's parked on the side of the freeway with another 5/7 on the parrallel road, again not a peep. Going further down toward my ultimate destination, there was ANOTHER horrific accident with at least three fire trucks, three to four ambulances and another 10 squad cars. Yup, you guessed it; not a peep.
  • cartalkcartalk Posts: 134
    My car's power adapter/lighter socket is the always on type. Is there any way to turn this detector off without unplugging it each time I turn the car off?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,866
    Apparently no one speeds in the winter and this topic auto-archived due to inactivity.

     

    I'm thinking someone must have gotten one for Christmas though?

     

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • It has been many months since anyone posted to this group so I hope that you are all awake and will provide some constructive input and discussion because there has been a lot going on in the radar world.

     

    Many of you may know that Mike Valentine of Valentine One engineered the original Escort Detector. He left the company more than 10 years ago, settled any legal grievances he had with them and opened his own company and trademarked the Valentine One detector.

     

    Valentine One has by all tests and reviews far outperformed all other detectors in all testing until recently! If you could afford the pricey V1 at 399.00 plus shipping--you bought it--hands down, no questions asked.

     

    Recently, the V1 failed the POP test. It failed to pick up the newest police radar that has POP technology. The POP radar guns are not currently widespread, but they are being ordered in mass by police departments around the country so there will be many more on the streets soon and if you do not have a new detector--you will get caught.

     

    The newest Escort passed the POP test. In response to this, Mike Valentine went back to the lab and figured out a way to engineer POP detection into his detector--the V1. Only his newest unit has this technology so maybe the V1 is back up on top again?

     

    But Escort is still touting a new comparison test that shows it is better than v1 (before POP was included in V1). This test is by a guy who says he is a retired cop Ron Reyer at http://www.radarbusters.com/default.asp

     

    Ron also sells Radar Detectors on his radarbusters website. He pushes the Escort and it is his testing that proves that it is better than the V1. But he also sells the Escort and profits from it. Mike Valentine will not give Ron Reyer a distributorship to sell the V1 on his radarbusters website. Mike Valentine won't let anyone sell the V1 except direct from his own company. He wants to control all sales and keep all the profits. If Ron Reyer were to come out with a test comparison that put the V1 ahead of the Escort, he could put a dent in his own retirement fund and may have to rely on his cops pension to get by.

     

    So---from the folks out there that are tuned in please respond to the following:

     

    1. Are you convinced based upon Ron Reyer's test that the Escort is now better than the V1?

    2. If anyone has experience with the new V1 with POP technology that just hit the market--please report on that.

    3. Is the V1 worth the 100 bucks more you have to pay for it over the Escort?

    4. Has anyone found a detector other than the Escort or V1 that is better so we don't have to keep making these 2 guys rich? Mike Valentine's house is big enough!

    5. If you were going to buy a new detector today, which one would you buy?

    6. Is it possible to drive a vehicle without a radar detector? :)

     

    Thanks.
  • My 1st detector was the Passport by Cincinnati Microwave. It performed very well and was very well constructed.

     

    I replaced it with an Escort(4800?) and was not very impressed with it.

     

    I currently have 2 Valentine-One detectors and have been very impressed with its performance and construction. It may not be as small as the Escorts, but the arrows are a must-have. It is worth the price premium to me.

     

    If I was in the market, I would buy the V1. I haven't seen anything on the market that impresses me as much as the V1. I plan on upgrading at least one of my V1s with POP technology at some point. I don't think its being used in my state at this time.
  • Thank you for some very valuable input. I did not know that that the V1 can be upgraded to include future technology like POP. That is an important feature.

     

    Where on your windshield do you mount/place your detectors to achieve optimal performance?

     

    Thanks.
  • Being able to upgrade the V1 as radar technology improves is a great feature.

     

    I mount mine at the top center of the windshield, right between the headliner and the rear view mirror. This gives the rear antenna an unblocked view out to the rear of the car.

     

    I use the suction cup mount and tuck the power cable under the edge of the headliner, down behind the A-pillar and under the dash to the cigarette lighter. The V1 power cord is the same as a household phone cord, so its easy to buy or make custom lengths.
  • ocuihsocuihs Posts: 138
    I'm upgrading my V1 to 2-band POP for the sake of it. http://www.valentine1.com/pop/

     

    But some additional information on POP mode:

     

    POP mode -- transmits a 67 milliseconds (ms) burst (from a cold start) intended to avoid detection by radar detectors. Radar detectors cannot detect the short 67 ms burst, the trade-off is the radar gets an uncertain and unusable measurement. The operator is NOT allowed to lock target measured speed in POP mode, and the manufacturer recommends switching to normal mode for an accurate speed measurement. The POP mode is used as a selling feature, but has no real practical use (other than potential operator abuse). The POP mode is a useless feature because of the frequency instability resulting in speed measurement uncertainly, not to mention wasting time taking a bad measurement (operator must still use normal mode for several seconds to get an accurate measurement).
  • ocuihsocuihs Posts: 138
    More information:

     

    MPH recommends that the officer obtain a tracking history of a speed violator by operating the radar in normal transmit mode after determining with POP mode that the vehicle is speeding. This is because most radar case law is based on tracing a vehicle in normal radar operation. The information obtained in POP mode is accurate and reliable, but may not be supported by case law in court.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,638
    Gee, makes me feel bad that I'm still using my 10YO Uniden detectors. Still work pretty well, even though they currently sit in the cup holder or cubby hole. At least no one will ever see them down there!

     

    I was considering getting a new one, and did some research lst year on the radarbusters site. one of the car magazines (Motortrend I think) did a comparo test a few months back that was pretty interesting also.

     

    I like the idea of the cordless ones to avoid having those cords hanging all over the place, especially in our van, where the power plugs are way down near the floor. That way the Solo could hang on the visor.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • I don't own a cordless, but my understanding based upon some reading/research is that no matter what brand cordless you buy, they are never as effective as a corded model. Full current is needed for the detector to operate at maximum performance. Battery operated ones also go into a "sleep mode," to save battery power which is not helpful when you need a 24 hour awake sentry to protect you at a moments notice from smokey.

     

    I would check into that first before buying.
  • I think that getting the POP upgrade is important. I don't profess to be an expert in this area, but my common sense understanding of the technology of POP is that if smokey activates POP on cars in front of you, it is a "warning" that he could switch to "full" mode at any time and may get a reading on your car. So if your detector is able to warn you that POP is being used ahead of you, you can slow and avoid getting cited.

     

    If someone's understanding differs on how POP operates, please write in.
  • ocuihsocuihs Posts: 138
    Just upgraded my V1 and warranty same as new for one (1) year. Some new firmware and hardware upgrades, hardware is Serial Number area being replaced with a different Serial Number.

     

    When the signal-identification system determines that a current warning is NOT, in fact, a radar threat, it notifies you with a "dee-dah-doo" sound and terminates the warning. At the same time, the letter "J" will flash briefly in the Bogey Counter.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    If you drive reasonably close to the speed limit, and at or below during police "events" (advertised "crackdown" on speeders or make up quota times) you do not need a radar detector.

     

    A radar detector will not help you if the police use "instant on" radar and there is little traffic. The RCMP in Canada use instant on. The only way to get a warning is if there is other traffic ahead of you that they are checking. My V1 sees that and I get enough warning to be careful. Instant on radar is enforceable (it's not the POP type, just a regular radar unit with a "transmit" button - and is very common these days). They don't press the button until they "see the whites of your eyes" ;-). I don't know how they know I'm coming when I can't see their vehicle due to a hill between us, but they do. They are very good! Oh, and no, I don't have any speeding tickets, thankyou V1!

     

    Looks like it's just about time to send in my V1 for an upgrade. It's the older model with the case extention below for the Lazer detectors.

     

    The other thing I've been considering is shutting down the "X" band part (a further advantage of the V1 is you can shut down each band including lazer if you like). That band is used by door openers so the detector is very busy in the city warning me that there are doors around. I haven't seen an "X" band radar for a few years now, except on those trailer mounted speed readout units.

     

    I've also never been impressed with the lazer part of my V1. It gets tripped by LED high centre brake lights and red neon signs, and usually the police are too busy or lazy to use lazer traps these days.

     

    Some operating tips for all of you.
  • Does this new feature work in all modes?
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    I know that Laser is what nabbed me last April, one of the reasons I am following the discussion here. I have an older BEL850 that noticed nothing, much ti my dismay.
  • ocuihsocuihs Posts: 138
    How Traffic Laser Works

     

    To measure speed, traffic laser sends out a beam of pulsed infrared light. The beam is tightly focused: at a range of 1000 feet, it’s only about four feet wide. Infrared is invisible to the naked eye — the operator can’t see it and neither can you. But it is light and it behaves accordingly. It travels in straight lines. And it’s easily reflected. Traffic laser works as a rangefinder. It sends a pulse, then waits for the reflection from the target car. From the time needed for the pulse to go out and back, and from the speed of light, it calculates distances to the car. These pulses are sent frequently, up to 500 times a second. The changing distance to the target over time is speed. Laser can’t see over hills or through opaque objects. The laser beam must hit your car directly, line-of-sight from the laser gun, to measure speed. Under ideal conditions, it can read speed in less than one second. The pencil beam means that, in operation, laser is very different from radar.

     

    How Laser Detectors Work

     

    A laser detector is an electronic sensor calibrated for the infrared wavelength used by traffic laser. It is extremely sensitive. And it responds in as little as .006 seconds. It should be mounted inside the car with the sensor facing through the glass toward the laser. When the beam, or scatter from the beam, strikes the detector, it warns instantly.

     

    Finding laser...How It Operates

     

    Laser’s narrow beam imposes significant limits on its use. It must be deliberately and carefully aimed. The operator can’t be moving. The operator must have a clear shot, preferably not through glass. So laser traps are always ambushes. The operator lies in wait. As with radar, the operator can’t read speed from the side. The operator must have oncoming and departing traffic. Look for a cruiser angled to the road, or broadside. Watch overpasses and entrance ramps. The operator will likely rest the laser gun on a partially-down side window to steady his aim. The operator will pick off traffic as it comes. Or goes. A laser warning requires immediate response.

     

    Details To Remember About Laser

     

    1. There is no moving laser.

    2. All laser encounters are like Instant-on radar; virtually no advanced warning.

    3. Laser alarms are rare, so be prepared to respond.

    4. Laser not effective in rain.

     

    Laser False Alarms

            
    1. Red neon, from stores and occasionally from brake lights of other cars (example: Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Olds Bravada and Buick Rainier), can imitate the characteristics of speed laser.

     

    2. The electrical systems of some cars generate electromagnetic interferences, triggering laser alerts.

    Possible solution: Try relocating detector within the interfering car; also, your dealer may have a factory fix.

     

    3. Note that laser-equipped-cruise-control cars, like Infiniti FX series, Mercedes, would triggered laser warnings.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Nice summary - thanks!

     

    tidester, host
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Can your own vehicle (if equipped with a lidar-based intelligent cruise control) cause a false alarm by reflecting back at you?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Yes, in fact if not built well it would overload the radar detector even without a vehicle ahead to reflect from. It's just a microwave radio transmitter, and if your receiver is close enough it will be overloaded.

     

    It might be possible to fix by installing a metal shield to stop emissions toward the windscreen. There are still some reflections off the road. These reflections may prove problematic. As an example, modern moving radar units (most radars are of this design), monitor the reflections off the road and compare them to the reflections off the suspect vehicle to compute speed, thereby eliminating calibration requirements for the police vehicle speed.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I am more curious about the laser/lidar detectors and ICC systems. I am planning on a new car that uses a lidar-based ICC rather than radar and wondering if that would interfere with our Escort. I don't know much about them, but I assume the lidar-based ICC systems are highly directional.

     

    Thanks
  • ocuihsocuihs Posts: 138
    I need to add one additional laser false alarm that tested and found recently in my original summary post:

     

    Those overhead highway L.E.D. signs would triggered laser warnings when you drive under these signs.
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