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Radar/Lidar detectors



  • I don't know if anyone has caught that new show on tru tv (formerly court tv) called speeders, but it's pretty interesting to see how the officers operate and who they pull over. In the vast majority of cases, the officer is using laser and none of the offenders are using countermeasures (from what I can see). It's also interesting to see how some people interact w/ the officers. I imagine acting "annoyed" that you got pulled over isn't going to help your case at all.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,692
    In my (very recent) experience.. If an officer is standing outside his car aiming a laser, and takes the time to get back in his car, and chase you down.... It really doesn't matter how you act... you are getting a ticket..

    That isn't to say that you shouldn't be respectful and pleasant.. just that the laser operation is a whole different thing than radar.. There is no chance that the officer was sitting there eating a donut, and you happened to trip his radar detector..or, he was on his way home and you popped up.. He was making a conscious act to aim that laser detector at you, and then come after you..

    Unless you have the mother of all excuses, you are getting ticketed..

    On the plus side, I could call in and pay it with my credit card... :(

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  • Of course, what's easier than calling in your credit card number and being done with it. I guess going on-line might be a better solution for those who don't like to talk to people. Why waste your time going to court? ;)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,692
    Uh, yeah... To go to court, I'd need a defense.. ;)

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  • I just keep "discovering" new features of the 9500i on a regular basis. You can set it to display your speed continually. Very handy in my GTI as the speedo is difficult to make out sometimes. It should have a huge speedo dead center! Not useful for measuring 0-60 times though, it takes a couple of seconds to "catch up" under hard acceleration. But it matches the speedo exactly during cruising.
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    I've seen an episode or two here and there, but just haven't been interested enough to keep-watch.

    It really puts me off how many of those depicted interact with the officers. :( I have quite a number of friends in law-enforcement - some who are Troopers and other local, but who also pull traffic duty. It makes me cringe when I see what they have to go through every day, "at the office." Makes my day seem like a walk in the park, for at least my lab animals don't talk back to me, and the students are all well-behaved. :)

    I must say, though, that every once in a while, one of those shows will get a clip or two posted to YouTube and the likes, and then get "cross-examined" by the various countermeasures enthusiasts. There are several incidences on, I believe, one of their first episodes, where the LIDAR enforcement scenario was highly suspect (i.e. could have been in-error).

    For as many people who are getting their traffic cases thrown out because of evidence from their own "dash/car-cams," I would imagine that this show would supply some good evidence, too, and may not necessarily be making the enforcers' jobs any easier.
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    Please note that police LIDAR, just as with RADAR, is not immune to various error - both operator as well as equipment induced.

    Yes, it can be a much more accurate speed-detection tool, but it must be used judiciously and with expertice, as well as without malice - and the instrument itself must be calibrated and maintained properly, just as with RADAR.

    Also, the officer does not need to be out of his/her vehicle in order to use LIDAR.

    It is very possible to use various portions of the vehicle's door/window-frame, armrest, dash, steering wheel, and even the data device mount (or the unit itself) in order to steady a LIDAR "gun" from inside the vehicle - even while belted and seated at the wheel, ready-to-go (preferably without the interference of the vehicle greenhouse glass, although, again, not necessarily so).

    Although highly frowned upon, there have even been instances of enforcers utilizing their exterior - or even interior - rear-view mirrors to "bank shot" LIDAR.


    On a side-note:

    As with what I wrote to upstatedoc above, I agree, there's no reason to be anything short of fully cooperative and completely courteous when pulled-over, even if you sincerely believe that the officer has made a mistake. Everyone's just human, and this person is just doing his/her job.

    The one time where I was pulled-over for "speeding-stupid," I crested a hill without slowing - my detector didn't go off (and no detector would have), since it was Instant-On radar, until I was actually well-past the enforcer's patrol vehicle. As hard as I tried, I just couldn't shave-off speed fast enough. :blush:

    I had signaled and safely pulled-over to the shoulder even before he even got his cruiser off the roadside runoff area.

    We were both polite and courteous to each other, and he simply gave me my ticket and sent me on my way.

    I knew I was at-fault, so I wasn't about to lie. :) Gotta pay to play. :blush: And that's what I get for, as I like to call it, "speeding stupid." :lemon:
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    It's certainly a "gadget filled" detector, and I can see why the Valentine group counterattacks, in its own marketing, the way that it does.

    Certainly, to "purists," these gadgets/side-functions can be deemed to be un-necessary.

    For me, the simple ability to turn my daily errands and commute into a noiseless one, without my need to take any action, is a blessing to those of us who have more demanding passengers. :) For me, the lock-out feature, as well as speed-sensitive sensitivity compensation, is all that I really need.
  • I couldn't find anything in the manual about the 9500i's "memory" It obviously can remember false alarms but can it remember legitimate signals? (i.e. for use later in court let's say) :confuse:
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    Not that I know of, yet.

    Who knows what stuff the Escort guys might come up with, when they finally release the USB-capabilities of this unit.......
  • I think i may be getting false laser signals on my new 9500i. It appears to go off for no reason. I have the unit mounted low,center windshield (my usual spot) My x50 never did this. In fact, I think the x50's laser alert was triggered twice by police laser and a bunch of times by my cd player but there was always a definite source. My 9500i has laser alerted me probably half a dozen times in the last couple of weeks w/ no obvious source. There weren't even any vehicles near enough to me to cause interference from a "cruise control" or "lane change" beam. Anyone else w/ this problem?
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    Although the problem isn't exactly common, it's not uncommon, either.

    Currently, speculation for the cause of this problem runs anywhere from RF interference (unfortunately, no real solution on this one) to electrical noise (where a snap-on ferrite choke should help cut down on the problem) to "other" causes (various IR sources, or even the "flickering" of modern vehicle's nav/entertainment system displays).

    With the 9500i, an e-friend of mine (whom I met through the Legacy enthusiast's Forums) was also having this problem - even the ferrite choke would not solve the issue.

    He eventually elected to send the unit back to Escort to have this issue addressed - the technician reported that the solution was to "de-tune" (further shield) the unit's laser receiver - and would likely reduce the unit's laser sensitivity by upwards of 30%. :cry:
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    LT, this may be a question for you.

    Are the radar units that the police have able to switch back and forth from say, K to Ka band? The vast majority of law inforcement in my area (town,city,county,state) use Ka band but every once in a while I'll get "K'd" by the county sheriff. Maybe they're using an older unit?
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    Hey there...

    Unfortunately, this is beyond my shallow knowledge pool - my instinct, however, is to say no, that there are no "switchable band" devices.

    Certainly, though, different departments will have different equipment, and this can even be *within* the department itself.

    Local to me, for example, there are adjacent townships using K and Ka band, respectively, as well as one township which operates both K *and* Ka band.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    I think my laser falses coincide with bursts of bright sunlight. Yesterday as I was driving around a long curve that was shaded, my laser alert went off as I hit a patch of bright sunlight. No other reason for it to go off. I wonder if I should send it back to Escort for a tune up?
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    ^ That's certainly possible.

    My ZR3's rear sensor is very sensitive to such falsing (particularly when sunlight is being "strobed" - i.e. driving on tree-lined secondary streets).

    Although I have not yet had any sunlight-induced issues with my 9500i, I have heard of this happening.

    [ Aside: this also happens on some other active laser-jammers, in addition to the Escort ZR3 mentioned above. ]

    Would I send the unit back to Escort?

    I honestly don't know - supposedly (coming from a good friend of mine, who sent his unit back to Escort for persistent laser falsing), their "fix" will decrease the laser sensitivity of this unit by up to 1/3.

    Where this will place you, in terms of the absolute laser sensitivity of this unit (i.e. will it be as "bad" as a Rev.5 x50?), is still currently an unknown.

    The good thing, though, is that you're almost guaranteed a fix.
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    Just wanted to be sure that you got notice to the reply. :)
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Hey thanks for the reply LT,

    So it seems I can either live with laser falses (which scare the crap out of me) or opt for decreased sensitivity. Now the other conundrum is that I must have been living w/ decreased sensitivity with my x50 all along.....or is the x50's adequate? Where is my philosophy professor when I need him?
  • lgtwrxlgtwrx Posts: 34
    LOL - Philosophy professor, indeed!

    I think that when we bring up the comparison to our older x50s, we're not really going to be missing much, even if we got our 9500i's "fixed," if you will.

    But does this mean that you are indeed compromising a lot of your protection?

    It's hard to say, but I'm inclined to answer yes.

    Still, having to live with persistent falses is a definite and BIG problem - it erodes the end-user's confidence in the detector, and causes desensitization, which can be a deadly problem even for advanced detector users.

    There's a case on where a fellow detector enthusiast came forward and offered-up his tale of having disregarded his V1's warning, only to end with a ticket....

    Particularly for a detector like the 9500i, where "the only alerts are the real ones," this is a big problem, IMveryHO.
  • izaclown1izaclown1 Posts: 116
    I have had two Escort X50 detectors. Both have started, constantly, displaying laser alerts. Laser is not particularly used around Columbia, SC. Both started after 1 to 20 years of use. The one I am using in my Towncar goes off every time I excelerate. Is this a normal problem? I am considering either sending them back for refurbish or just getting new ones. Which would be better? The 9500i is out of my price range at this time, but could be a near future option.
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