Between photo radars, red light cameras, and police waiting in unmarked vehicles, it seems nearly impossible to avoid speeding tickets.
If you choose to speed, you’re likely to end up with plenty of tickets. These tickets are costly. And if you get enough, you may end up with a suspended driver’s license.
If you’ve gotten a speeding ticket or two, it might be time to invest in a high quality radar detector.
A radar detector is an electronic device that is mounted on the dashboard of your vehicle. The detector alerts drivers that a radar gun or sensor is in use ahead.
The radar detector detects electromagnetic emissions from radar guns, red light cameras, and photo radars.
The electromagnetic emissions also come from other electronic devices. One example is the automatic doors that are used in supermarkets and drug stores.
As a result, radar detectors may emit false alarms when a vehicle is passing one of these doors.
Different types of radars operate on different wavelengths. Radar detectors detect some of these wavelengths. Radar detectors can only detect Doppler radars, which are those used by police radar guns, red light cameras, and photo radars.
Radar detectors used to be widely banned, though not legally so.
When a police officer would pull over a vehicle and discover a radar detector inside, it was common for them to destroy it.
But thanks to lawsuits regarding the Communication Act of 1934, radar detectors are now legal in nearly every state in the U.S. Only Virginia and Washington D.C. prohibit their use in private vehicles.
Radar detectors remain illegal for use in commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds, or less in some states.
This doesn’t mean that speeding is necessarily legal. But say that you don’t realize that the speed has reduced from one section of road to the next. Or perhaps you aren’t familiar with the area and aren’t sure what the limit is. Or you simply aren’t paying attention to your speed.
But say that you don’t realize that the speed has reduced from one section of road to the next. Or perhaps you aren’t familiar with the area and aren’t sure what the limit is. Or you simply aren’t paying attention to your speed.
Radar detectors are a great, legal way to avoid a speeding ticket.
Not all radar detectors are created equal.
Choosing not to opt for a high quality radar detector may leave you with one that won’t protect you from speeding tickets.
A good detector will alert you of upcoming radar guns or sensors and give you enough time to safely slow down.
If you aren’t given enough of a warning, you’ll still be speeding when you pass the police officer or red light camera. As a result, you’ll still get a ticket.
Police radars operate on the wavelengths X, K, and Ka. A high quality radar detector will detect all three wavelengths.
If your radar detector doesn’t detect all three wavelengths, you may be at risk when certain radars are in use. For instance, your radar detector may detect a police officer using a radar gun, but not detect the radar from a red light camera. Or vice versa.
For instance, your radar detector may detect a police officer using a radar gun, but not detect the radar from a red light camera. Or vice versa. This may help you avoid some tickets, but it won’t keep you entirely safe.
With so many radar detectors on the market today, finding the right one can be a challenge.
But doing your research and shopping around is essential. Otherwise, you may get stuck with the opposite of a high quality radar detector, and end up still getting speeding tickets.
To help you find a high quality radar detector, it’s a good idea to start by reading reviews.
The information on the packaging of a radar detector is always going to be positive. Every manufacturer of radar detectors is going to try to convince you that their product is the best on the market.
But the reality is that many aren’t effective, and are just a waste of money.
Reviews of radar detectors from people who have actually used them are the best possible way to find the right radar detector for you!
While reading reviews, it’s important to look for indicators that the radar detector worked for different types of radars. Also, pay attention to reviews that say that a radar is very prone to false alarms. While this won’t lead to more speeding tickets or malfunctions, it can be very annoying for drivers and passengers.
While this won’t lead to more speeding tickets or malfunctions, it can be very annoying for drivers and passengers.
Finding unbiased reviews of radar detectors can be a challenge.
Many reviews may look unbiased but are actually from the radar detector manufacturers. As a result, the reviews are unlikely to be accurate.
If you want a high quality radar detector that actually works and helps protect you from speeding tickets, you need a review website that you can trust.
That’s where Avoid Radar comes in.
The unbiased reviews of Avoid Radar make it easier to find the right radar detector for you.
You’ll be able to easily separate the good from the bad. This makes it simple to figure out whether a radar detector is a high quality before you waste your money.
A high quality radar detector won’t be cheap. But choosing the cheapest radar detector on the market will cost you far more money over time.
Even one speeding ticket will likely cost you much more than even the most expensive radar detector available. Several speeding tickets and the costs of going to court will cost the same as several detectors.
Investing in a high quality radar detector from the start will save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in tickets!
If you need help choosing a radar detector, contact us.
One in every six Americans receives a speeding ticket every year.
That means that around 41 million speeding tickets are given out per year. That’s around 100,000 per day.
Those numbers shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Americans are constantly traveling from place to place as fast as they can.
We all want to get to where we are going as quickly as possible. It’s just how we’re built. We sometimes risk getting a ticket for the sake of timeliness.
But what if there was a way to ensure that you would never get a speeding ticket again?
What if you could know that a speed trap is coming from miles away? What if you could detect if there are any police officers in your area trying to hit their ticket quota for the month?
It’s all possible with radar detectors. They will make speeding tickets a thing of the past for you.
Right now, there are numerous radar detectors on the market. However, there are three models that are easily the best radar detectors available at the moment.
These detectors are essential for any and all drivers that want to get to their destinations fast but are trying to keep their records clean.
So which models are the top ones on the market?
You can look at all the reviews you want. But if you really want to know the answer, read on to learn more about the three best radar detectors you can buy right now.
One of the main concerns people have before purchasing radar detectors is whether or not the devices are legal.
The short answer: they are mostly legal. However, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Radar detectors are legal to use all across the United States except for in two locations: Washington D.C. and Virginia. The reason for this is that radar detectors interfere with federal government transmitted electronic waves.
Other states, such as California, Florida, and Pennsylvania, don’t allow drivers to mount objects on their windshields.
Many radar detectors are mounted on cars’ windshields. Therefore, this restriction does make it a little more difficult for drivers in these states to obtain high-quality detectors.
It is important to know that these rules are only for private vehicles. Commercial vehicles throughout all of the United States of America are completely prohibited from using radar detectors.
Out of the three radar detectors on this list, the Escort Max 360 is probably the best one. However, it’s also the most expensive.
If you want to purchase the Escort Max 360, it will cost you $650. Is it worth it? With all the features this detector possesses, it is 100% worth its price.
The Escort Max 360 also offers smartphone capability. It uses Bluetooth to connect you with other users through the app Escort Live.
Escort Live is available on both Android and Apple devices. The app creates a type of protective community for speedsters on the road. It lets you know about red light camera locations and local speed limits and also informs you of any alerts nearby.
The Escort Max 360 uses its digital signal processor (DSP) and its GPS-powered AutoLean feature to make sure you get the best, most accurate data as soon as possible. No false alerts or random signals.
In fact, Escort is so sure that the Escort Max 360 will help drivers that the company has offered to pay for customers’ first tickets if they’re cited while using the detector.
The Whistler CR93 Laser Radar Detector is one of the best radar detectors you can buy today because of how affordable it is. You get a lot of bang for your buck when you buy this device.
The Whistler was originally priced at around $280. However, you can currently purchase it from certain sellers right now for as low as $160. That makes this radar detector even more of a steal.
But the Whistler CR93’s low cost is not its only great feature. The detector has internal GPS that will alert you when there are red light cameras and speed cameras.
The detector also offers Traffic Flow Signal Rejection and Field Disturbance Sensor Rejection. These features ensure that false alarms aren’t triggered by transportation department radars and other signals that come from cars’ blind spot and collision detector systems.
Another exciting quality about the Whistler CR93 is that users can customize the detector. The device lets you adjust its laser detection settings in order to weed out false alarms and give you the best, most accurate data possible.
The older-looking display on the Valentine One V1 may cause you to think that this detector is a relic of the past. However, that could not be further from the truth.
The V1 has front and rear radar antennas that both have pretty powerful range. It also possesses laser detection.
The best feature the Valentine One V1 has to offer, though, is its directional system. This system is similar to the Escort Max 360’s and points out the exact direction of the upcoming speed traps to the driver.
The visual simplicity of the system is what makes it work so well. If the arrow on top lights up, drivers will know that the speed trap is ahead. They then wait for the down arrow to light up to know that it’s safe.
The only major issue withthe Valentine One V1 is that it’s sometimes too good at picking up radar signals. More than a few times, non-police radars will set off the detector.
But wouldn’t you rather have a detector that alerts you too many times instead of not enough?
Right now, purchasing a Valentine One V1 will cost you $400. You can also add Bluetooth to your Valentine V1 with the V1 connection for about $50 more.
Have you used a radar detector before? Did you find it helpful?
If you purchase and use one of these three radar detectors, contact us to let us know. We want to hear about what your experience with one of the best radar detectors out there was like.
Are you a fan of radar detectors? These handy devices have been around for as long as radar speed guns and have served as a useful way to avoid getting a speeding ticket.
While commercial available and very accessible, you shouldn’t just purchase a radar detector and start using it. If you want to start using radar detectors, you may need to get up to date on new radar detector laws in the US. Some states are moving to completely ban these devices, while others are much more lenient.
We put together a guide on how to use radar detectors safely and legally in the United States. Check out this handy guide to understanding radar detector laws below!
A radar detector is an electronic device used by many drivers to see if local law enforcement is using a radar gun nearby to detect their speed. Essentially, radar detectors notify the driver to slow down before reaching the law enforcement officer with the radar gun to avoid getting a ticket.
Radar detectors are available for purchase all over the internet in varying qualities and prices. There is a big difference between radar detectors and radar/laser jammers (especially when it comes to legalities) and we will cover those differences later.
It’s pretty obvious why law enforcement would want to eradicate radar detectors through passing radar detector laws. With radar detectors, ticketing speeding vehicles become much more difficult.
Radar detectors are illegal on US military bases. You won’t be ticketed or arrested for using one, but you will be asked to remove the device until you leave the military base.
Federally, any commercial vehicle over 8,000 pounds is prohibited from using a radar detector– no matter what make or model you drive in any state.
However, in many states, using a radar detector is completely legal. In others, laws are significantly stricter.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a radar detector, live outside of a military base, and drive a car under 10,000 pounds, then it may be helpful to look into radar detector laws that are in place in your state. You might be surprised by what you find.
That’s a good question. Despite the fact that radar detectors are legal across many states, the use of one of these devices can come off as unethical. Why else would you use a radar detector if not to be able to speed as much as you like?
This doesn’t always have to be the case. Quotas have to be met and more often than not, many people receive speeding tickets upwards of $300 or more for going little more than five miles over the speed limit. Many think that these types of speeding tickets themselves are unethical.
Using a radar detector can help already safe drivers slow down enough to avoid any kind of bogus speeding ticket a law enforcement office could try to pin on them. Rather than be used to break the law, radar detectors can be used to protect law-abiding citizens from unethical punishments.
A laser or radar jammer is very different from a radar detector. A laser jammer is used to prevent police from obtaining a speed reading by “jamming” the laser gun used. A radar jammer is a device that creates radio signals that interfere with radar detection devices.
Under federal law, radar and laser jammers are illegal. Being caught with one could lead to a felony, a huge fine, and possible jail time.
The government has been cracking down more on catching citizens with jammers, too.
Enforcement Bureau Chief P. Michele Ellison had this to say several years ago on the subject: “Jamming devices create serious safety risks. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be intensifying our efforts through partnerships with law enforcement agencies to crack down on those who continue to violate the law. Through education, outreach, and aggressive enforcement, we’re tackling this problem head on.”
This guide can help you get an idea of what different radar detector laws are in different US states.
In the state of California, radar detectors are legal. However, there is a catch– they cannot be sitting or mounted on the inside of the car’s windshield.
This isn’t specifically because of the radar detectors themselves. In California, it is illegal to have any objects on the windshield do to driver vision concerns. You can definitely get a ticket if your radar detector is there.
In the state of Illinois, radar detectors are legal. Only private vehicles are allowed to use them, though.
If you’re caught with a radar detector in a commercial vehicle, you’ll be at risk for ticketing and possible confiscation. Confiscation is usually rare.
Like California, radar detectors are legal. They just cannot be mounted on or near the windshield due to visual obstruction of the driver. If you do mount your radar detector on your windshield, you’ll be at risk for a ticket but not much else.
Like Illinois, New Jersey allows private vehicles to mount and use radar detectors. Commercial vehicles are prohibited and illegally using a radar detector will result in a ticket and possible (although rare) confiscation.
Radar detectors are legal for private vehicles, but not for commercial vehicles. Repercussions include ticketing and possible confiscation.
Radar detectors are completely prohibited in the state of Virgina, no matter what weight car you operate. They are also illegal to sell in Virgina under radar detector laws.
Getting caught in Virgina with a radar detector can result in a ticket (regardless of whether or not you were speeding at the time) and your radar detector will likely be confiscated.
Radar detectors are legal in the rest of the US states with no restrictions on private or commercial cars. Federal law applies.
How was our guide to knowing the in’s and out’s of radar detector laws? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
The need for speed is real.
And if you have a car that can handle it and miles of open road, it’s utterly tempting to put lead in that foot of yours.
But you’re not going to get much of a thrill when those red and blue lights flare up behind you.
There are ways to ensure that you don’t get caught testing out the limits of your sweet ride. But if you’re not careful you could still end up caught.
Here are a few reasons why you should invest in something more than a bottom of the barrel radar detector.
Before you can know exactly why you need a radar detector, you need to know some basics.
The radar guns that cops use aren’t magic. They use the science of radio waves to detect how fast a vehicle is moving.
The device both transmits and receives radio waves. Similar to how a bat uses echolocation to transmit sound and receive it a radar gun sends out radio waves and records when they come back.
The frequency of the radio wave changes depending on how far away or how close a vehicle is when moving to or away from the gun.
The radar gun measures these changes and calculates how fast an object is moving.
Traditional detectors only passively detect these radio waves. And radio signals are everywhere. It has to tune into the specific signal put out by police radar guns. Which fortunately isn’t top secret information.
The same technology used by police to track cars is used in sports to measure the speeds of balls and pucks and other sports things.
Thus this technology is not something kept in a vault for nobody to understand.
Unfortunately, with traditional radar detectors, a cop measuring you from behind might not register until it’s too late.
Because of the invention of the radar detector, police have become inventive. A laser technology that detects variable distances now exists. And the police have it.
It’s called LIDAR, and it stands for Light Detection And Ranging.
You traditional detector cannot “see” light as light is a completely different frequency than radio.
There are only two defenses against LIDAR, a laser jammer and knowing the limitations of the technology.
A LIDAR can only detect the speed of a vehicle accurately up to 1000 feet or 1 kilometer. Anything farther away than that is indefensible in court.
So, if you can know where the police typically hide or can glean information on where they are with community connections, then you will be safe from LIDAR.
A laser jammer can defend against LIDAR, but a police officer will know you jammed his laser. He will then follow you like a hawk above prey for the rest of your ride.
You may not even be a speed demon. You might follow the speed limit most of your life.
But there are unfortunate circumstances where you might have to speed or you might accidentally speed. And ignorance is no protection from the law.
There are several reasons why you might want a high-quality radar detector whether you typically speed or not.
It’s quite well known that cops pay close attention to vehicles known for speeding. And by known for speeding we mean a prejudice as old as the roadster.
Corvettes, GTs, Ferraris, and anything popularly fast. Any sports car could be tagged in a police officer’s mind as “fast.” And if the car has a particularly large engine, with raw power behind that wheel, you may have to take some time to adjust to controlling the speed.
A lot of cars like this are designed so that you do not feel the speed until you are way above the speed limit. So getting a high-quality detector for your speed demon car is probably a good idea just in case.
If you’ve driven through New Mexico, you’ll know this problem well. You’ll hop on an unfamiliar highway and realize you forgot to look for the speed limit.
Now you’re stuck guessing for a good 20 miles or longer.
If you want to drive worry free on an unfamiliar highway, you might want to consider a Radar Detector for your vehicle. It might save you from having to confront a police officer in no man’s land.
It’s easy to zone out when driving long miles. And if you have to do it often, you run the risk of, like the example above, missing a speed limit sign.
Depending on local laws, a small town may not post a speed limit but once before you hit the local Barney Fife traffic stop behind the one bar in town.
And by then you’ll be hanging your head in shame.
You can avoid this risk by putting a high-quality detector in your car. Since it’s very likely officers will be using a LIDAR gun, you’ll know for a while that you’re coming up on a small town with an ambitious one-man show.
Depending on state laws, you might not have much longer before your license is revoked. If you’ve been caught too many times, it’s probably time to install that radar detector.
You will at least lessen your risk of getting caught if you just can’t keep that foot off the pedal.
Of course, if you already have a ticket, it’s too late for this one. But some detectors have GPS capabilities that measure and log your speed. You can use that information in court if you are wrongfully flagged for speeding.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you might need to install a detector in your vehicle.
Why would you put a radar detector in your car? Let us know in the comments below.
Perhaps you have just gotten a radar detector. Or, maybe you have used one for years and you wondered: how does this thing work anyway?
It is important to understand how radar detectors work when you own one.
It is enriching, but it also gives you the power to decide if the one you have is still effective and when it’s time to get a new radar detector.
In this article, we will understand what radar is and what it does. Then we’ll cover how this applies to police radar and your radar detector.
Let’s get started!
Radar, or Radio Detection and Ranging, is an object detection system. It can measure the distance to an object as well as the speed at which the object is moving.
To measure speed and distance, a radio transmitter and receiver are used. The transmitter sends out radio waves called radar signals in the desired direction.
Once the object is hit, the signals reflect back or scatter in numerous directions.
The signals which reflect are essential. They reflect back onto the receiver and provide the desired information about distance and speed.
Just like freeze dried food, Jeeps, and GPS, radar was initially developed for the military and then repurposed and rebranded for non-military institutions and citizens.
Police radar uses these radio waves to catch speeding drivers.
After World War II, radar was repurposed as police radar in the 1950s.
Police radar is built with the radio transmitter and receiver in one object. To properly read the speed of a car, police radar needs to be stationary.
So long as it is stationary, police radar can be placed almost anywhere to get an accurate reading.
An officer can use police radar from their vehicle, place it in a shrubbery, or hide it behind a civilian vehicle. Sometimes, the police do not need to be there at all as many precincts use traffic enforcement cameras (TEC) mounted over or on the side of the road.
The police radar transmitter sends out radar signals, typically short reaching signals like K and Ka, in their desired direction. When it hits a moving car, multiple signals reflect back to the receiver.
The reading from the police radar or traffic enforcement cameras provides your speed. If you are over the limit the officer will pursue you and ticket you or a picture of your license plate will be taken from the TEC and you’ll receive a ticket in the mail.
Your radar detector detects other radar signals. Ideally, those used by police radar.
Radar detectors began to be used by citizens in the 1970s. Your radio detector acts as a receiver, no transmitter needed. The signals transmitted by police radar cast a wide net.
Your radar detector catches these signals from that wide net. When you are alerted of the police radar presence near you, you can slow down before passing the police radar.
Radar detectors are imperfect, mostly as a result of other industries innovating their own technology.
For instance, in recent years the auto industry has created many cars which are programmed to avoid a collision and boast adaptive cruise control.
For these guidance systems to work, they send out radio waves at a specific frequency. Guess which ones?
The same frequencies that are used by police radar, most commonly K and Ka. This will render your radar detector useless.
Even automatic doors, like garages and grocery store entrances, can use the same signal.
What help is your radar detector to you if it alerts you of police radar, new cars, and automatic doors if it can’t tell you the difference between one and the others? No help at all.
There have been encouraging innovations to radar detectors in the last few years.
Several new models have been made which differentiate police radar from radar signals in newer vehicles.
New technology has been created and implemented which filters out the signals from collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control. Three companies leading the way are Escort, Valentine Research, and Stinger VIP.
1. Escort has identified the unique signatures of the guidance systems used in newer cars. They created a filtering algorithm which differentiates those signatures from police radar.
The alerts you receive from an Escort radar detector are much likelier to be signals from police radar.
Escort radar detectors are intuitive as well. Each time it identifies a guidance system signature, it takes note and adds it to the library of signatures.
When a driver performs a firmware update to their Escort radar detector, it will add these signatures ensuring that most of the alerts they receive are from police radar.
2. Valentine Research built upon Traffic Safety Rejection (TSR). This means that it receives K and Ka signals, but delayed. This filters out the majority of false alerts caused by guidance systems, but it does mean that you’ll have less time (a few seconds) to slow down for police radar.
3. Stinger VIP is not a radar detector but provides better results. This spectrum analyzer also identifies your own cars radar signals.
The Stinger VIP was developed as a car computer with a spectrum analyzer. It performs “sweeps” of radar frequencies used by police.
It also filters out radar signals given off by your own vehicle. You can drive confidently knowing that your radar detector is receiving all frequencies used by police radar and cancels out the signals from your own car.
If you have ever wondered how radar detectors work, now you know that there is a lot to know!
When you know how radar detectors work, you have the power to decide if the detector you have is still effective and when it’s time to get a new radar detector. There are a variety of detectors to choose from.
If you have any questions about how radar detectors work and radar detector related news, contact Avoid Radar.
Do you ever wonder about the accuracy of your radar detector?
Radar detector technology is ever-innovating. This industry has:
These steps forward are encouraging, however, the technology used by the auto industry and law enforcement continues to hamper radar detector effectiveness. So, how can you ensure that your detector is up to the challenge?
Read on to learn what provides an accurate reading from your radar detector.
An up-to-date radar detector will give you a more accurate reading.Today, using your outdated detector is pointless. Old radar detectors were designed to identify the frequencies used by police radars, X, K, and Ka.
This is bad for outdated radar detector users. As in the radar detector industry, the auto industry has made many innovations to its products.In the last few years, numerous cars have been produced which feature collision avoidance as well as adaptive cruise control systems. These features utilize the same frequencies as police radar to function.
As you drive with your outdated detector, it will let you know of police radars near you but it will also alert you about every new car on the road. It’s up to you to guess which is which.
This does not help you avoid police radar and it is annoying. Outdated detectors are just as helpful as not having a radar detector at all. Updating your detector is essential.
Newer detectors do their best to differentiate the signal produced by collision avoidance and cruise control systems from police radar.
None of these new detectors provide 100% accuracy, however, when they do alert you it’s much likelier that the frequency it’s reading belongs to police radar.
These newer radar detectors come with a variety of assistive features.
A factor which can affect the accuracy of your reading is the type of detector. Each detector type has certain strengths and features which will appeal to certain people based on their driving habits and their environment.
There are three types of detectors:
The corded detector comes out on top as the most effective, but if you want one radar detector for multiple cars or you are concerned about the robbery of items in your car there are viable options for you.
Another helpful feature is detector mode. Use the right detector mode at the right time and you will know that you have a more accurate reading.
There are two modes: city mode and highway mode.
Utilize city mode when you’re driving in town. City mode reduces the range for the frequency measured.
This means that you won’t get signals from police radars far away which wouldn’t affect you. This also means that frequencies used in your car and home, like automatic garage doors, won’t cause your radar detector to alert you either.
Utilize highway mode when you’re on the highway. This mode increases the range for the frequency measured.
On the highway, you drive a greater distance faster. Here, it is important that your radar can read further away.
Using each mode when appropriate provides you with the right alerts at the right time.
If you have worried that your readings are not accurate, it could be because the police radar being used is actually police laser.
The light beam from a laser is narrower than that from radar. This allows for precise aim and is part of why laser beams are considered to be more effective than radar.
If you do find out that the device being used in your locale is laser and not radar, invest in a laser detector.
A basic laser, a detector with one laser, can only detect signals from in front of you. It’s better than nothing but it doesn’t provide the comprehensive results you need when you’re on the road.
Advanced laser detectors, a detector with two lasers, read for laser signals from every direction.
You can drive confidently knowing that you are getting an accurate reading.
Metallic elements in or on your windshield can cause inaccurate readings.
Some cars are produced with metallic in the windshield. Unless you would like to replace your whole windshield, there is nothing you can do to regain the accuracy of your detector
Sometimes metallic elements are placed on the windshield: many film tints are commercially available for drivers to put on their windshield. People can unknowingly compromise the integrity of their radar detector when they get film tints applied.
Not all film tints have metallic elements. Doing your research before you buy and apply film tints can save you a lot of money and grief. You can have your film tint and detector, too.
You no longer have to wonder how accurate your radar detector probably ! You know what makes an effective detector for the task.
Using newer detectors will give you a more accurate reading and provide you with a defense against police radar and lasers.
Choosing the right detector type for your car and environment is important. Using the city mode or highway mode when appropriate will contribute to an accurate and helpful reading.
Considering alternative detectors and understanding the impediments to accuracy caused by your car is key.
Check out Avoid Radar for more information and advice about radar.
Imagine you buy a radar detector, get into your car and stick the detector onto the windshield to discover that the cigarette lighter cleverly located at the back of the console requires a detector cord three feet longer than what you have. In this case three things can be done; re-engineering the entire electric system of the car (overboard), Fabricate a longer power cord for the radar detector (mild, but why bother) or get a wireless radar detector(best approach to solving problem).
Improvements in the manufacturing technology of Radar detectors have seen newer versions smaller, more digital and cordless. It is important to be cordless, mobility is enhanced and this safeguards against laws which prohibit objects on the windshield.
A radar detector in general is an uncomplicated device used by motorist to detect police radar. Radar fundamentally works by bouncing a radio signal off of an object, thus any receiver tuned to the same frequency can detect the signal and often at a greater range than the radar unit itself can detect the reflected signals. There are many different detectors on the market, with varying sensitivity and different options, but they are all fundamentally radio receivers. So in actual sense it is a radio tuned to the same frequencies as police radar.
Why wireless radar detectors
All over the US corded detectors are the most common and their fundamental feature of being mounted on a windshield by using suction cups makes them the most regulated form of radar detector. Wireless detectors are more of the new generation kind of detectors. It can be placed anywhere in the car meaning a cleaner form of installation.
Most wireless radar detectors come with new cutting edge technology that brings them to this new digital age of ours. This means there is a higher probability of wide-brand frequency detection. This is the essence of the detector; if for a moment the radar detector is unable to detect the frequencies used by the police then it is no better than a useless radio device.
Modern features would mean a detector equipped with GPS systems. This is very useful in that it increases the consciousness of the detector; if we are concerned about the police and safety then a detector with a GPS system incorporated is very important. It allows the detector know and be able to alert on how fast the vehicle is travelling when any radar activity is detected.
Except for Virginia and Washington D.C, the use of radar detectors is legal all over the US and this is so because they are not regulated, there isn’t one legislative document out rightly making it illegal. However California, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania prohibit the mounting of objects on the windshield. This makes it illegal to use radar detectors that require mounting onto the windshield in these mentioned states. It should be noted that this applies to passenger vehicles. As concerns commercial vehicles weighing over 10, 000 Ibs there is a federal law prohibiting their use without exception. It is very important to have this in mind before going out to buy a radar detector, so you can know what kind to buy or if you aren’t to buy it at all.
To completely understand how wireless radar detectors work it is absolutely important to know how police radar works. This will help in understanding the features that are a must have by the detector you so desire.
The day-to-day police radar is the radar gun, which is a hand held device used by pointing at a vehicle and pulling the trigger, the speed of the vehicle is immediately displayed on the screen of the radar gun and we know the rest if we are in violation.
In comparison to modern wireless radar detectors, most modern police radar guns use what is called the k-band, which was introduced in the late ‘70s. These guns have a range of about a quarter mile and can be detected anywhere within two miles depending on the conditions. The ka-band was introduced later, toward the end of the ‘80s, and uses an even shorter wavelength. This is the same band used by photo-radar machines and is also where most recent radar development has been focused, including the development of the so-called “stalker” guns which can only be detected by sweeping the entire ka-band, not just the portion used by photo-radar. Police radar originally used the x-band, which is a much lower frequency, but it has been largely phased out.
Police radar uses the Doppler Effect to measure speed. This simply means wave lengths get shorter as the source comes closer and longer as it goes away. So, the closer it moves it effectively raises the frequency. This in effect gives a perfect estimate of the speed of the vehicle
The radar detector is about knowing where the police have focused their speed enforcement efforts and not a license to speed with impunity or guarantees invincibility while speeding. The cordless operation of the radar detector exacts some compromises because of battery life. This has forced designers to walk a tightrope while designing the wireless radar detector because incorporating all sensitivity features means lowering the longevity of battery life. This may affect efficiency as sensitivity has to be regulated and in some cases compromised
The new radar detectors might be a little bit pricier than the most we are used to and it might not be invisible from radar detector detectors. This might bring unwanted Police attention and might in a larger sense prove a certain intention to speed.
Because it is not placed on the windshield this reduces the height advantage and reduces the accuracy in detecting the police radar due to the obstruction from the vehicle’s metal.
Thought modern wireless radar detectors might be more expensive to use. The flexibility in its usage and its improvement in wide-brand frequency detection is essential to all radar detectors and this is what it brings to the table as a fact.
With the new Beltronics GT-7 Radar detector is all about maximizing your own experience on the road while also ensuring safety. Essentially a hand me down passport max from Beltronics sister concern Escort, our own view on how it works and what it’s all about is on really about how it works, what kind of performance you can expect from it and at the end of the day if it’s feasible. On the outset it is fair to say that Beltronics is making an attempt in order to make a statement – with its striking outward design the reliable hardware and what not it’s priced at a fair range of $499, considering that the Passport Max is a bit upmarket at $549 – the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector is surely worth it and also includes a couple of other improvements as well.
If it really comes down to sibling rivalry – The Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector wins the Line!
TESTING AND PERFORMANCE:
Most common to all radar detectors is the ability to pick up signals in time, performance and this factor out weighs all other aspects. For instance if you aren’t able to detect a police radar just in time to avoid getting a ticket – it’s fair to say you might as well throw it out the window. On the other hand it also depends on your priorities as well, you might not want a radar which beeps each time it picks up let’s say a stray radar signal. The downside of an overly accurate radar is that it’ll beep and chirp all the time, and you’ll probably end up phasing out alarms just when the real one comes along – now that isn’t a pretty picture.
With the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector what you pay for is what you get, having tested side by side against a top radar detector pick worth just under $200, we used the device on multiple road trips including between cities and interstate as well.
The Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector in all its glory incorporates the digital signal processing circuitry, now this isn’t anything new you can find the same system on the Escort Passport Max line as well, needless to say both devices did a great job at not only picking up in time but also at early detection of providing alerts for both K and KA radar bandwidth, at the same time they also greatly reduced false alarms. Another great feature is the collision avoidance system from other vehicles – the GT-7 is a stellar performer in this field to.
Having tested it against the market leaders and brands you’d probably find at the top of the metaphorical shelf at a store, the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector out-weighs all. To find a balance however the bottom line for the customer might be price of the equipment, but then again considering the quick response and extra features, we’d say it is probably worthwhile dishing out that extra bit of money in order to enjoy a number of extras.
During my testing, I did encounter an odd bug. While driving through long tunnels the GT-7 does tend to either get non-responsive or just completely shut down. In our experience the display went completely dark and there was no sound or beep to warn us of this as well. However the good news is that a spokesperson from both Beltronics and Escort assured us that this bug had been fixed via a simple software update. Now that is good news! But in the spirit of giving an honest and straight forward review we just thought we’d mention it for those out there who were wondering what just happened – all you need do folks is upgrade your software.
BUILD AND FEATURES:
Now let’s move on the features and what can you actually expect from your Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector, needless to say it is a full-featured detector and has numerous customization options. The downside? Well those of you who are familiar with the Passport Max will know that this is probably nothing new and that the two devices are essentially the same to a certain extent identical. There might just be a few small tweaks and the like when considering certain modes but overall there is nothing notably different.
So – does it really drill down to consumer usability ease? After all if the features are all the same than why choose a different devices? Well – it’s not up to us really but we should mention that there is a difference in pricing for both the devices.
With the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector you will find that it is able to detact all radar and laser used by US law enforcement agencies these include bands across X, K, Ka, Ka-POP and TSR – just to add in our experience the device did so with ease. A further benefit we’d thought we’d mention is that you are able to adjust detection for each band independently and they can be turned on or off as per you’re requirements as well, this is of course put into place to match the types of detection used in your area and at the same time also reduce false alarms.
Another feature of the GT-7 is that you are able to adjust sensitivity in order to balance alert spend which reduces false alarms while on highway. In our own experience we tested using Auto No X and found alert times to be excellent with a notable reduction in false alarms from inner city driving. With a Built-in GPS which also allows you to lock out static false alarm areas, the GT-7 does deserve extra brownie points in this area.
Moving on – it is worthwhile mentioning that the GT-7 has Escort’s built-in Defender database of known red light and speed cameras. This gives you a leverage, meaning that the GT-7’s GPS is able to provide timely alerts. We’ve found the database to be accurate and up to date even in cities who have in the past depended upon red light cameras. Purchasers get three months of Defender updates, after which they must purchase a subscription which comes up to $19.95 for one year or $39.95 for three.
It might just be worthwhile mentioning at this point that there is one side effect of using the red light camera warning on the highway – they usually detect nearby red lights and come up with false alarms. Fortunately these false alarms are way too obvious thus making it easy for you to pretty much ignore them.
The GT-7 can be paired to the Escort Live services, however this means yet another subscription at $49.99 per year. An upside to this is the smartphone app which connects with Escort Live services for real-time updates and over speed warnings, these are based on actual speed limits for the vicinity you are travelling within. Like the Max, connecting to Escort Live requires purchasing the optional Smart Cord Live for $99.95, putting the GT-7 at the same price as the $599.95 Passport Max 2, which uses built-in Bluetooth to connect the detector and smartphone for Escort Live. But if you are tech savvy, you will find other apps in the market which allow you to do the same with the GT-7 – we’d recommend WAZE – try it out!
To wrap it up let’s give the display a once over, the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector has an easy to read display ad that to in all lightening conditions. It can provide you with numerous options and the choice to choose between what informational alert data to show and when as per your requirements and convenience. The color scheme on the display can be changed as well between copper, red, green or blue, it also provides a heads-up speed indicator on the display. This feature is there to alert you when you exceed a certain speed limit. And there are four display information configurations modes that provide varying levels of technical details about detected threats.
In all available radar detectors, there are few that would guarantee an absolute worry-free experience while driving than the Escort Max II HD Detector. It incorporates in its system modern and cutting-edge technology to meet up with today’s fast-evolving technology enriched world.
It has built-in Bluetooth technology, giving access to Escort’s award-winning app. ESCORT LIVE make your life much easier. The app gives access to a shared database of radar hits and red-light camera locations. Escort Max II HD covers the all major and best-known frequencies used by law enforcement.
So the frequencies like X-band, K-band, a-band, and laser cannot evade the Max II’s detection. You don’t have to sweat yourself if you can’t drive 60, Escort Max II HD Radar Detector has got you covered those obstacles much more efficiently. It just doesn’t end here like weekly updates are available through the app that keeps you alert and informs you of all what is happening in North America on the road.All these handy features put up the Escort Max II on top-rated radar detectors List at the top.
The Escort Max II HD Radar Detector comes in different graphic displays and the new multi-color graphics display is breathtaking. Brilliant new graphics illuminate intuitive icons that identify the type of threat at a glance. In addition, user-selectable backlit colors allow you choose a color that works best with your vehicle’s interior gauges, in addition to these it is worthy of noting that all displays using speed limit data are connected to Escort Live
Feedback from most if not all its users has testified that the Max II is currently the best in filtering out dynamic/moving false K (and even Ka) band ON PAR/equal footing with Escort’s competitors (namely Valentine and it’s V1).
And it is noteworthy that every radar detector currently on the market struggles with dynamic/moving false radar emissions such as collision avoidance systems installed on modern cars and have, as of current, only use tricks such as desensitizing the unit slightly, or making the unit slower to alert to deal with this growing problem. This problem will only get worse as more and more cars are manufactured, bought and used with this technology as time goes on. So we all need to commend the Max II for standing out from the rest.
It doesn’t a surprise for manufactures as well informed buyers opt for the Escort Max II HD Detector over and above all other radar detectors. With the addition of its internal Bluetooth technology Passport MAX II radar detector is simply faster, detect longer range with high accuracy compared to its previous companions.The regular feedback is the fact that it gives good value to the money spent.
It is worthy to note that sophisticated intelligence is a bonus added to its ticket- protecting skills. Incorporated in it is a patented AutoLearn Technology which makes use of the GPS and frequency to perform the task like reject unwanted door openers and other fixed position false alarms. So it doesn’t have as aim to only protect you from a ticket but any other misshaping.
Bottom line is The Escort Passport Max II will accurately let you know when law enforcement has set up a speed trap with active radar. The fact that it uses modern cutting-edge technology makes it very user-friendly and easy to use for everyone especially for your younger ones who are always tempted to go above the limit. Having it as a part of the car may make the user feel lost without it. It is absolutely very useful and even though the price may seem high and its high visibility on your dashboard might create unwanted attention, the life-saving job it does cannot be quantified enough and its high visibility seems to be a reminder of how essential it is, as the car would evidently look strange without its availability.
Most drivers have been at a particular point in their driving experience, when we ask ourselves “how can I beat the ticket.” It is pretty easy if you understand the intricacies of being caught for exceeding speed limits in the first place. It is well known that the police officer issuing the ticket used a laser gun to detect the car speed. Out of the genius of our minds, the radar detector came to being.
They alert motorist and let them know if their speed is being monitored by a police using a laser gun, cool isn’t it. By using it motorist are able to reduce the car’s speed before ticketed for speeding. However because of the several implications of this devise and the fact that it can affect certain radio frequencies, is radar detector legal to use it in some states and on military property throughout the entire country? Let dig it a bit.
FEDERAL LAWS ON RADAR DETECTORS
Federal laws carry with them wider applicability, this notwithstanding speed limits vary in various states making it difficult for strict federal laws to be enacted on the topic, so they do so in a much broader legal manner.
Communications Act OF 1934
The piece of legislation passed by congress in 1934 with which intent lied on interstate and foreign commerce on the regulation of wire and radio transmissions has been given a progressive interpretation by the Federal courts to include the legal foundation for states to regulate devices such as radar detectors. Detractors from this approach argued that the law is a response to national defense issues caused the evolution of foreign and domestic advancements of monitoring technologies. Whereas proponents postulate that interstate commerce provisions of the 1934 ACT applies to radar detectors because a lot of commercial entities make use of it.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The FCC as a federal government agency has respected is boundaries as purview over radio detectors is ceded to the states. However the FCC has tried to impose a general legal language as it applies to radio devices such as, ham radios, as well as other devices that can receive police transmitted frequencies. Be as it may since 1993 when the broad legal language was incorporated into a handful of regulations, no court has made a connection between ham radio receivers and radar detectors.
STATES AND RADAR DETECTOR LAWS
Windshield mount laws
There are five states that are against mounting devices on the windshield that can be seen by lawful authority to impair the vision of the driver:
There is a little twist to this because except for Minnesota that specifically bans radio detectors hanging from the windshield the rest bans anything hanging from the windshield. Take note that these states do not specifically ban the owning and using of a radar detector. It just happens that most radar detectors are used and best suited to be placed at the windshield. Citizens of the Sun Shine State of Florida have taken a class action against the windshield mounting law and no conclusive ruling has been reached on it yet.
ALL 50 states and the District of Colombia in the US prohibit the use of Radar Detectors on commercial vehicles. States specify the weight of the commercial vehicle and in some cases all vehicles above a certain weight are also prohibited. The states of Illinois and New York cap theirs at 10 000 pounds for commercial vehicles and 18000 pounds for all vehicles. In this regard, commercial vehicles above 10000 pounds and all vehicles over the weight of 18000pounds are prohibited from using the radar detectors.
RADAR DETECTOR LAWS IN VIRGINIA AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Virginia and Washington D.C are unique when it comes to Radar detectors. Not only is it illegal to use it in Virginia and D.C it is illegal to be in possession of it or for traders to trade in radar detectors. The reason for this in the state and territory is because radar detectors interfere with federal government transmitted electronic waves. Military vehicles are the only exception in using radar detectors in both jurisdictions. The penalty when found guilty of using one varies; it becomes aggravated by prior offences committed by the offender.
In 1998 there was an attempted federal move restrict the use of Radar Detectors but the move didn’t gain the momentum to be able to make it to the floor. The restriction thus remains under the control of all states. No state out rightly makes radar detectors illegal except Virginia and Washington D.C. other states have restrictions that limits its use and particular models.
It is very important for everyone to stay abreast with laws restricting devices like Radar Detectors as well the introduction of such legislation, not forgetting case law interpreting laws that may apply to Radar Detectors. Why we all should watch out is because traffic citations bring in revenue to states, therefore it would not be a surprise to see cash strapped states make the move to out rightly ban radar detectors. The fines that come out of from speeding have become a lucrative source of income for local and state governments.
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