Radar Basics




RADAR BASICS

This is not a how to article on breaking the law, but rather, instructional information on moving those little dots on the map closer together, conditions permitting.  We've all encountered times when the speed limit has been set too low.  Traffic, weather, line of sight, and a Porsche may combine to justify a few more miles per hour.

Radar companies all make claims to being the best.  Applications and philosophies differ, but the bottom line is which detector will best assist you in avoiding tickets? 

Magazines, independent testing groups, and radar manufacturers seem to come up with different results.  Who is the best?  That depends upon what you want to accomplish.

Concealed radar detectors are usually the most expensive and least effective.  Other radars offer traffic information.    Ask yourself how you will use the detector, where you will use it, and what constitutes your biggest threat.
 
First consider where the Police like to hide.  Most likely you will agree that beyond the crest of a hill or around a blind turn would be locations of choice.  Detectors that boast the longest range may work on line of sight and not pick up these hiding places.

Authorities hiding in the weeds is not for safety's sake; it's revenue collecting.  They would be much more conspicuous if they just wanted people to slow down a little.

The ticket itself represents only part of your problem.  Insurance companies are looking for ways to raise your rates.  Think not?  Then why do some insurance companies subsidize the sale of radar guns to the authorities?  It's all about the money.

Desirable attributes include range (the ability to sense a short burst up ahead- instant on), sniffing around corners and over hills, distinguishing the number of sources (multiple vehicles), and the direction to the source (cut down on your looking time).  Your choice has now been narrowed down to the Valentine 1.

Radar detectors that that give you a city/highway choice typically just cut down the power (range) when City is engaged.  The Valentine gives you three options none of which diminish your range.  Press the volume button in and hold it to switch from A to l to L.  L is the recommended setting which only permits frequencies used by the police.  That does not mean that store fronts aren't using the same frequency.

Instant on is a common practice striking fear into the hearts of the most artful dodgers.  Your only defense is picking up a few short beeps (shooting a vehicle ahead of you).  Look for microwave towers, but don't rule out the possibility of an ambush.

Long open stretches like those on I-10 West invite exercising the right ankle a little.  In this case police look for differentiation of speed.  They keep their radar off and wait for the car that has been passing all the others and then blast him as he goes by.

Laser beams are similar to radar, but much more limited in application.  First, laser guns must be stationary.  They look like the old larger video cassette cameras.  Lasers are only effective at fairly short range and reflect off flat surfaces and lighter colors better.  Front license plates are the preferred targets.
 
A really good laser detector may pick up the car being shot in front of you.  Laser diffusers can be marginally effective.  The best combination is the laser diffuser used with a transparent license plate cover designed to distort the laser beam.

Radar jammers are, for the most part, junk.  Any affordable jammer will not work.  It's a marketing gimmick designed to fleece the unsuspecting.  If it says Rocky Mountain something, it's crap.
Your best bet is a Valentine 1 @valentine1.com or 1-800-331-3030.

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