When searching for a Radar detector you need to know what you are going to be using it for? How much you are willing to spend? What are the needed features? Do you want Dash Mount or Remote Mount? Radar detectors are constantly changing, and are being upgraded often. They are getting better.
How does a radar detector work?
It’s simple, when police uses radar to detect speed, they shoot a beam across the section of road they want to monitor. These beams are essentially a police broadcast at X, K, or super wide Ka bands. These bands are like AM or FM radio bands, they can vary in wave shape and frequency. As the radar bands hit a moving object, it returns to the source gun with a different frequency. Based on the difference in frequency, the radar gun can determine the speed hat the object is moving.
diagram of police radar
Functions of a radar detector
The function of the radar detector is to listening for broadcasts on these bands that possibly are police radar signals. Radar detectors do one thing only and that is to let the driver know which band they are receiving and the signal strength. That information describes the distance of the police radar. Most of the time the radar tells you in enough time for you to hit the brakes, but it is not 100% guarantee that it will always give you enough time, or sometimes even warn you.
What should I look for in a radar detector?
It is important to get the widest range of detection that you possibly can, and try to buy one that detects X, K, Ka, and laser bands. You should also have different indicators for each one of these bands, and separate light or sound for each. Make sure that the unit has a good visual display and either a mute or a volume button so that you could adjust the settings to your likings. Try to find a radar detector with at least 10 decibels (db) of sensitivity. Look for models with city/highway mode, which helps to vary in sensitivity to limit any false alarms.
Extra features you might like are, Vg-2 Alert and Vg-2 Non Detection. These are helpful in areas that do not allow radar detectors; such as Virginia and D.C. They are helpful because they become undetectable by police radar detector detectors, which is good for the states where radars are illegal. Voice is a great safety feature, so the driver does not take their eyes off the road. Safety Alert and SWS settings are not important features.
A radar detector should provide easy-to-understand audio and visual warnings.
If you plan to own one for a long time, some radar detectors allow for easy reprogramming of the operating software. The Bel Vector 995, Escort Passport 8500 X50, and the Valentine 1 are upgradeable, but having that option makes the radar detector more expensive.
A cordless radar detector can look nicer, but running on a battery gives less performance, and many users do not recommend it.
"POP" Radar Technology
The POP is new instant-on technology that may make a whole new generation of radar detectors unstoppable. These radar guns work at low frequency until they are turned on to determine a driver’s speed, this leaves a radar detector little opportunity to scan and detect the radar signal.
POP radar may sound unbeatable, but new models of radar detectors offer POP radar detection. Sometimes Pop detection is not, by default, enabled automatically; users must turn it on in the settings menu.
Manufacturers probably choose to disable Pop detection by default because its increases sensitivity, which also increases the amount of false alerts.
Dash mount radar detectors
The best place to mount dash mount radar is as high as the rearview mirror.
The Valentine 1 is the best money can buy, but Bel vector 995 and the NEW 8500 Escort are very close to the Valentine 1. These are top-end detectors offering the best in performance.
Remote radar detectors
Remote detectors are more expensive and mount behind the grill of you car. The controls are under the dashboard to hide and protect against thieves. They require professional installation, but are less prone to theft. Escort, Beltronics and Whistler are quality remote detectors, which offer good detection. K40 remotes have had many problems.
This radar detector is probably the most expensive and best radar you could buy. It looks very well built and designed, it is not the best-looking design but it has been the same design for the past few models.
It also has two antennas, one that faces forward and one behind. This gives the Valentine 1 the ability to detect radar frequencies all around the car. This feature also allows the radar detector to tell you in which direction the frequency is coming from and which band. It does so by lighting up the directional arrows on the detector.
The newer models come with the new POP feature.
More information on the Valentine1: http://www.Valentine1.com
This is another expensive, but worth it radar detector. The rating of this detector does not fall far from that of the Valentine 1.
The Escort is available in red display for $299.95 or blue display for $339.95. The reason for the price difference in the blue display is that the gases used to make the blue cost more then the red.
This radar detector, just like the valentine, comes with 360- degree radar and laser detection. The newer models also come with a highway/city and auto sensitivity mode, which reduces false alarms. POP selectable mode is also included, along with easy programming allows instant customization.
To find out more information on the Escort Passport: http://www.escortradar.com
This brand of radar detector is just about even in ratings with the Escort Passport. All the Beltronic models come with 360 laser detection, POP mode, text display, Automute on/off, and three city modes.
The best model to buy is the Vector 995. It is the best model for people who want a simple and moderate price.
Each model comes with there own special features, and selectable features.
For more information on the Bel Vector and the different models: http://www.beltronics.com
Bel Vector 995
Whistler is the mid-class detector. It comes with features such as highway/city mode, 360 protection, POP mode, and quiet mode. It can range in price anywhere from $275 - $94, depending on the model and type of mounting.
To find out more information on the Whistler: http://www.whistlergroup.com
The Cobras and Unidens are near the bottom of the list. They range in price anywhere from $139-179. They have all the basic features such as 360 laser detection, compass, and Strobe Alert® warns you of approaching emergency vehicles.
To find out more information on the Cobra: http://www.cobra.com
To get more information on different radars and their rating just go to: http://www.radarbusters.com