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.
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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Having an undetectable radar detector is an important aspect of car ownership that you should consider since this can protect you against radars and lasers used by speed enforcers. In addition to that, having this places you a step ahead from law enforcers since they cannot easily detect that you are using a radar detector.
But due to the increasing number of available options, you need to be extra cautious in selecting the detector to purchase. For best results, you can conduct a comprehensive search about the top products sold in the market. To simplify things, you can also consider any of the following models.
The Cobra ESD7570 9-Band Performance Radar/Laser Detector is a bestselling undetectable radar detector. It comes with dimensions of 2.7×1.3×4.1 inches and weighs about 4.3 ounces.
Aside from its compact, portable and lightweight design, the detector is admired for its capability to detect all radar and laser bands used in Canada and US.
It provides a 360-degree protection from laser signals and features an UltraLight Data Display. The product comes with the city and highway modes that allow you to select its operating mode and significantly reduce the frequency of false alarms when the detector-equipped car is driven on densely populated areas.
On top of that, the Cobra ESD7570 9-Band Performance Radar/Laser Detector comes with a design that enables it to remain undetectable to VG-2 and Spectre 1 radar detector detectors.
Given this feature, you can confidently use this while driving without the need to worry that you will be caught off guard in case the speed enforcers are using any of the radar detector detectors at their disposal.
The Escort RedLine Radar Detector is another recommended undetectable radar detector that you should consider. It comes with dimensions of 3x3x3 inches and a weight of about 1.6 pounds.
The Redline is currently known as one of the most sensitive radar and laser detector in the market. It is designed to detect known radar bands like the full K, X and even the SuperWide Ka. It is also equipped with the technology that allows it to provide a 360-degree laser protection.
The device is equipped with the Digital Signal Processing feature that enables it to offer a relatively longer range and significantly reduce false alarms.
On top of that, the Escort RedLine Radar Detector features the company’s TotalShield RF technology that makes it ultimately undetectable to the latest versions of radar detector detectors particularly the Spectre and the VG-2.
The Whistler XTR-540 Cordless Radar Detector is also among the bestselling undetectable radar detector in the market at present. The device is a preferred option among buyers since it is very compact and comes with dimensions of 4.9×3.1×1.4 inches.
It is also among the lightest with a weight of 9 ounces. Aside from its compact and lightweight design, it can provide you with full band radar and 360-degree laser protection. It is also among the few cordless detectors that are powered by 3 AA batteries and can function for 15 straight hours.
In addition to that, the Whistler XTR-540 Cordless Radar Detector comes with user-friendly functions, very clear LCD and POP detection mode. This is also equipped with Whistler’s patented VG-2 cloaking technology that allows it to remain invisible from the VG-2 radar detector detectors.
Aside from providing the needed invisibility, the device can also alert you with the presence of such radar detector detectors.
This is because the device is quite effective in detecting radars in the area where the vehicle is driven and equipped with a laser eye that provides a 360-degree protection against lasers. It has the capability to detect both mobile and stable radar speed monitors situated about 2000-2500 meters ahead.
Finally, it is fitted with the most advanced technologies that allows it to remain invisible to almost all known types of radar detector detectors used by speed enforcers in every place all over the US and Canada.
Getting a good radar detector can be considered as a good investment. This is because doing so provides you with the needed protection against radars and lasers commonly used for speed enforcement.
Given the said benefits, it is really important for you to get the best radar detector in the market. But due to increasing number of options in the market, selecting the best from what is available might be difficult.
Fortunately, you can simplify the selection process by looking at the common features of a good radar detector such as the following.
Radar detectors are basically used to alert drivers of the presence of radar and laser signals used by traffic police to apprehend motorists who are driving beyond the prescribed speed.
Due to this, go for a radar detector with a longer radar detecting range. This is because such device can provide prompt alerts and ample time to reduce speed before getting into trouble with speed enforcers.
Although a lot of radar devices claim that they provide longer detecting range, go for the models that can provide alerts at least a mile away from the sources of the radar or laser signals detected.
But since the detector’s range varies depending on presence of obstacles in a particular area, go for the products with “highway” and “city” mode since these can be adjusted to meet the possible challenges present on the area where the vehicle is driven.
Speed enforcers are now using radar guns with POP modes to deal with motorists who use radar detectors. This is because the POP mode allows the radar guns to send short signals that a lot of radar detectors cannot pickup.
Due to this, it is important for you to consider the idea that a good radar detector should include a POP-detecting feature. By having a device which is equipped with this feature, you will surely avoid getting a speeding ticket from enforcers who use POP-equipped radar guns.
The portability of a radar detector is another important feature that you should consider in during the selection process sense a portable device provides a lot of useful features.
First this characteristic allows you to conveniently position the device in areas such as the dashboard and windshield. Second, a very portable and cordless detector can be easily transferred from one car to another making it a top option among drivers who are fond of switching cars regularly.
On top of that, you can easily conceal a portable detector when it is needed to be hidden or kept to prevent speed enforcers from discovering that you are using such device.
Many experts agree that a detector which is equipped with the GPS navigation is better compared to those that are not sold along with such feature.
This is because the GPS technology is one of the features that enable the device to provide warnings and possibly the actual positions of potential sources of threats such as the red traffic lights, fixed speed cameras mounted on strategic areas and other speed traps employed by the authorities.
In addition to that, a radar detector with GPS Navigation can help you free some space from the car’s dashboard as well as help reduce your expenses.
Instead of buying a separate GPS navigation device to aid you during the drive and incur additional expenses, you will just need to activate the said function on the device to obtain the needed navigation assistance.
Finally, you should also understand that a good radar detector is capable of detecting all radar and laser bands present in the areas where you drive the car. A lot of experts view this as an important feature since it allows the device to provide you with warnings upon detecting different laser and radar bands.
Thus, you will not be caught off-guard in the event that the speed enforcers in particular area are using radar guns that make use of different bands. For best results, you can go for the models that provide rear and front protection since this will keep you protected from all sides.