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      10-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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Radar detectors

Just from reading speed-related topics on this forum I have seen several references to radar detectors. We've all heard about them but I've actually never seen one being used in the real world. I've been reading a bit about them and the various technologies. But the big question remains: does it actually work?

From what I understand the most recent devices detect if a laser beam is pointed at your car and warn you in consequence. I can't help but think that by the time a laser hits your detector it's basically too late? And that most of the time the laser will be pointed at the body of the car not the detector?

What is the process by which these things work? Let's say a cop car hides somewhere on the highway fully stopped. He points his radar beam at oncoming traffic. He sees that you are speeding, and takes off in order to pull you over. I don't see at which point the radar could have detected the beam while giving me enough time to slam on the brakes before the cop gets a reading?
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      10-24-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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I have had the same Bel RX65 for nearly a decade now. I normally would get a new one every three years.

This one is just too damn good, too damn accurate.
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      10-24-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
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But how early are you warned? Doesn't work with lasers too, not too many lasers in NJ?
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      10-24-2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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2 things:

1) radar
2) laser

radar is easy to detect for radar detectors because cop cars can only scan a few(i.e 1-2 cars) at a time. They are continuously sending out a signal so it is easy for the detector to spot from far away(like a mile).

laser - you are screwed. That is a light beam that they specifically target your car with. Its a handheld gun that they point at your car. You hvae maybe 1 second to react, and that is if the cop car decides to laser you twice to make sure he has an accurate reading. Either way, with laser you are screwed.

Luckily, most cop cars do not use laser. If they do, they are the cop cars that are at specific speed trap locations and they have to be parked to point their handheld guns out the window.

Also, a radar detector can protect you from laser somewhat if there is a car or two ahead of you. It will pick up any bounced off signals from the laser gun when the cop hit the car ahead of you. That being said, we are still talking about a few seconds of reaction time.

I've had a radar detector for 4 years now. Never gotten a ticket. Of course, a radar detector does not mean you can drive stupid. Half of the battle is learning where cops commonly like to hide, and not speeding excessively.

Even with a radar detector, I only go max 10 mph over the speedlimit.
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      10-24-2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenkirby21 View Post
2 things:

1) radar
2) laser

radar is easy to detect for radar detectors because cop cars can only scan a few(i.e 1-2 cars) at a time. They are continuously sending out a signal so it is easy for the detector to spot from far away(like a mile).

laser - you are screwed. That is a light beam that they specifically target your car with. Its a handheld gun that they point at your car. You hvae maybe 1 second to react, and that is if the cop car decides to laser you twice to make sure he has an accurate reading. Either way, with laser you are screwed.

Luckily, most cop cars do not use laser. If they do, they are the cop cars that are at specific speed trap locations and they have to be parked to point their handheld guns out the window.

Also, a radar detector can protect you from laser somewhat if there is a car or two ahead of you. It will pick up any bounced off signals from the laser gun when the cop hit the car ahead of you. That being said, we are still talking about a few seconds of reaction time.

I've had a radar detector for 4 years now. Never gotten a ticket. Of course, a radar detector does not mean you can drive stupid. Half of the battle is learning where cops commonly like to hide, and not speeding excessively.

Even with a radar detector, I only go max 10 mph over the speedlimit.
Radar vs laser... Makes sense. I think in my neck of the woods most cops use regular radars, they park in a protected area of the highway and just wait.

10 mph is really not much above the speed limit at all. I don't know what state you're in but around here (Philly suburbs) you would be hard-pressed to find someone doing less than 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. Sometimes I'm cruising on the left lane at 80 mph and I still get cars tailgating me wanting to do more... Cops seem to tolerate this. As long as you're flowing with the traffic things are ok I guess. Never got a speeding ticket. Well yes I did once near Baltimore on the I-95, under suspicious conditions, I still don't know why I was targeted and not the other 100 cars doing the same speed. I was so unsuspecting the cop in an unmarked car had to chase me for 1 mile and after a while I was like "wait is that for ME? WTF", then I pulled over and the cop was all worked up haha.
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      10-24-2012, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ft1337 View Post
But how early are you warned? Doesn't work with lasers too, not too many lasers in NJ?
I find it gives me plenty of notice, to the point where at first I thought it was a false alarm as there was not po-po in sight. Now I know, I slow down, wait 10-15-30 seconds and then see the cop and then pet the Bel and say "Good radar, good radar".
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      10-25-2012, 05:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ft1337 View Post
Just from reading speed-related topics on this forum I have seen several references to radar detectors. We've all heard about them but I've actually never seen one being used in the real world.

Seriously? You have never seen someone using a radar detector? Do you live in Virginia?
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      10-25-2012, 06:58 AM   #8
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Some police have radar detector detectors. I know, because I was pulled over by the RCMP in Ontario, who claimed i triggered their RDD.
They're apparently not all that reliable, because I didn't have a radar detector. According to the Mounty, it was likely having RDS scanning for traffic reports on my radio that gave a false positive.

The only time I ever was caught speeding, I lost my license for 18 months and got a $2k fine. Not fun.
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      10-25-2012, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grovsnus View Post
The only time I ever was caught speeding, I lost my license for 18 months and got a $2k fine. Not fun.
Unless you have some very punitive laws out there, it means that when you do speed, you make no compromise on it.
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      10-27-2012, 12:40 AM   #10
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10yrs and counting in the valentine camp. Been real happy with it. V1 for life.
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      10-27-2012, 08:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ft1337 View Post
Just from reading speed-related topics on this forum I have seen several references to radar detectors. We've all heard about them but I've actually never seen one being used in the real world. I've been reading a bit about them and the various technologies. But the big question remains: does it actually work?

From what I understand the most recent devices detect if a laser beam is pointed at your car and warn you in consequence. I can't help but think that by the time a laser hits your detector it's basically too late? And that most of the time the laser will be pointed at the body of the car not the detector?

What is the process by which these things work? Let's say a cop car hides somewhere on the highway fully stopped. He points his radar beam at oncoming traffic. He sees that you are speeding, and takes off in order to pull you over. I don't see at which point the radar could have detected the beam while giving me enough time to slam on the brakes before the cop gets a reading?
I drive through Philly burbs and most cops don't even have radars. When you drive on a highway it's good to have a V1 because arrows make a huge difference but that doesn't mean that you can slam on the throttle. If you are alone on the road and there is a 1/2 mi or more of empty road in front be very careful even with detector. Most cops would have the radar off and then turn it on and fire to prevent you from detecting and reacting. In this case no detector will save you. I had X50 which is not that good and changed to V1.
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      10-27-2012, 03:05 PM   #12
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V1 saved me from a speeding ticket just the other day. Best $400 I've ever spent.
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      10-27-2012, 05:50 PM   #13
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Last week i took cross country trip with both escort 9500ix and valentine 1. They are both great radars and save me 5 times. 2 times was laser alert. But I only need it for long trip though. My choice will be 9500ix over the valentine 1
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      10-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #14
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I bought a Redline and it has saved me twice from laser and countless times from Ka. I still can't tell where Pop is coming from though. If they put arrows on the Redline I would definitely upgrade to that, but until then the Redline is amazing. best $500 I've spent. Since I got it I haven't gotten a speeding ticket and my last one was $4xx about 3-4 years ago. So it has more than paid for itself.

Now, to protect yourself against laser you will need a shifter and a vinyl system/anti-reflective coating. I won't recommend any on that front because I know nothing of shifters. (Never been caught by a laser.)
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      10-28-2012, 12:06 PM   #15
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to answer your question, yes they work. i've been using a v1 for the last 3 years and love it. only other radar i'd recommend is the redline because it is as good if not better than the v1. most cops sit on their asses and use Ka band which on a flat road the v1 can pick up from over a mile away. but you also need laser jammers installed on top of a radar if you want real protection and i recommend laser interceptor but there are other options
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      10-28-2012, 01:24 PM   #16
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I have an Escort 8500. It works. I can pick up a radar (Ka) band from over a mile away, given good line of sight. But remember that radar basically works in a straight line (barring any reflections), so if you come around a corner or over a hill really fast and you didn't get a radar tone until you had line of sight with a police officer, then you're still screwed. In other words, you still need to drive smart.
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      10-28-2012, 01:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdub679 View Post
I have an Escort 8500. It works. I can pick up a radar (Ka) band from over a mile away, given good line of sight. But remember that radar basically works in a straight line (barring any reflections), so if you come around a corner or over a hill really fast and you didn't get a radar tone until you had line of sight with a police officer, then you're still screwed. In other words, you still need to drive smart.
That's not true, lidar is line of sight(just youtube a lidar gun in action or watch the guys of lidar videos for their explanations). Radar has a diminished functionality but still works decently well past barriers and obstacles. It measures doppler shift(based on sound waves). A great(read: expensive) radar detector will still catch radar over barriers because it will be more sensitive due to multiple antennae, angle of antennae with respect to each other, etc.
Plus, you shouldn't be speeding too much into a blind corner, they wont need radar/lidar to estimate your speed before you notice them.
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      10-28-2012, 05:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venom View Post
That's not true, lidar is line of sight(just youtube a lidar gun in action or watch the guys of lidar videos for their explanations). Radar has a diminished functionality but still works decently well past barriers and obstacles. It measures doppler shift(based on sound waves). A great(read: expensive) radar detector will still catch radar over barriers because it will be more sensitive due to multiple antennae, angle of antennae with respect to each other, etc.
Plus, you shouldn't be speeding too much into a blind corner, they wont need radar/lidar to estimate your speed before you notice them.
Yea, this is what I meant (by "reflections"). You said it more eloquently. In the real world though, it depends on the conditions (terrain, cars, road signs, etc).
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      10-28-2012, 06:40 PM   #19
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I was down to my last chance on speeding tickets. I sprang for an Escort. That was 7 years ago. I haven't had a speeding ticket since. It has paid for itself 50 times over. I've been shot by a laser maybe 10 times. The laser alert is different - it's shrill, loud and immediate. You just have to get on the breaks with no hesitation and you'll be fine. Knock on wood.
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      10-28-2012, 07:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdub679 View Post
Yea, this is what I meant (by "reflections"). You said it more eloquently. In the real world though, it depends on the conditions (terrain, cars, road signs, etc).
I just want to make sure that people understand Laser/lidar well enough to know whether they want to spend the $ to get out of such a ticket, and the difference between lidar and the types of radar is very critical to how to respond to them.
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      10-31-2012, 09:34 AM   #21
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My understanding about laser is you just can't escape this shit. Laser travels at the speed of light obviously, so by the time they hit you with it, they already have a reading. You can slam on the brakes if you want but you ticket is ready for you regardless.

I don't know how some people can claim that they got their ass saved a few times from a laser, it doesn't add up.
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      10-31-2012, 09:52 AM   #22
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BTW does anyone know just how much window tints affect radar detector performance? My V1 says it makes it significantly worse.
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