In-depth Understanding Of How Police Radar Works & How Radar Detectors Help YOU

Radar detectors are basically very simple devices. In simple terms, radar detectors are radios that are tuned to the same frequencies as police radars. Since radars work by bouncing radio signals off objects, all receivers that are tuned to the same frequencies are capable of detecting signals at greater ranges as compared to the radar units themselves that detect the signals that are reflected

– There are several detectors that are available in the market. These detectors are of different options apart from having varying sensitivity but fundamentally, they are all radio receivers. The main purpose of radar detectors is to allow the users to detect police radars in good time and to ensure that they aren’t speeding by the time they are within the radar location

Police Radar Basics

mph-banner– Standard police radars are handheld units that are commonly referred to as radar guns. The police officers using them simply point the guns at vehicles, pull the trigger and the speed of the car is instantly displayed on the screen. In short, it’s like pointing flashlights to moving cars using reflection to determine their speeds

– The most recent police radar guns use k-bands which were introduced in late 70’s. These guns have a range of a ¼ mile in approximation and can be detected anywhere within 2 miles depending on the condition of the gun. Ka-bands were introduced later i.e. in late 80’s; they use even shorter wavelengths. These are the same photo-radar machines and that’s where most radar developments have been majored and this includes the stalker’ guns which require sweeping of the entire ka-band to detect them. Originally, police radars used x-bands which have lower frequencies but they have largely been phased out

The Doppler Effect

Police radars measure speed using Doppler effects that state that wavelengths will always get shorter as the sources come closer as they go away. This happens because when things move closer, all successive peaks have shorter distances to travel that effectively raise the frequency.

Anybody who has heard the changes on sounds of motorbikes as they pass must have encountered Doppler effects. The high-pitched sounds of motorbikes drop as they move away. Police radars measure the frequency shifts and use them in determining how fast cars are going

L.I.D.A.R. Technology

police officer using LIDAR Gun

LIDAR in use

Lidars are basically policing radars that have lasers. They work on the same principles but are much harder to detect since they use narrower beams and have an exposure time that is much shorter. While there are lidar detectors that detect Lidars also, the beams are so tight and the exposure is very short

The relationship between the law and radar detectors

It’s important to take note that its not in all jurisdictions that radar detectors are legal. There are some countries where radar detectors are legal but windshield mounts are illegal

Types of Radar Detectors

Basically, radar detectors are three types; remote mount, cordless and corded. The corded ones are the most common in the US since they are easily mounted on windshields. This gives them an edge over other detectors since they are higher off the grounds and they are not shielded by the metals of the vehicle.

Cordless detectors are small and easy to carry around. This makes it easy to transport them from one car to another. Remote counts are much more expensive apart fro being the least noticeable; they are mostly concealed inside the vehicle. The biggest disadvantage with remote mounts is that they are usually installed permanently and removing them is never that easy

Features of Radar Detectors

– There are several features used in differentiating radar detectors from others the most important being the frequency in detection. As the number of frequencies that are used by the police increase, so do the importance of wide-band frequency detections.

– There are radar detectors that are equipped with the GPRS system that enables them to know the speed of the vehicle when the radar activity gets detected. These detectors are also capable of warning drivers when they are about to cross areas where speed limits are much lower or even set up alarms when they get close to areas where radar activities have previously been detected

Radar Detector Detectors

Some companies have also produced radar detector detectors. They are designed to enable sheriffs to detect when radar detectors are in use.

traffic fatalities statistics

Userful sources for police radar, is Stalker radar company.

Why You SHOULD Consider Buying A Radar Detector and Which Ones Should A Beginner Buy

Saint Louis County Police Hiding

A radar detector is an electronic device that uses a radar gun to detect whether the car speed is under surveillance by law enforcers. The device is used by motorists in highways where police or law enforcers often keep watch to ensure that drivers retain the required speed limit within the public roads and highways. Radar guns can be handheld or mounted on the vehicle’s fixed accessories such as in the traffic signal. A radar detector will be of great help to avoid been traffic charges and penalties which can be costly and unexpectedly.

However, for a beginner, it can be difficult to choose the right radar detector as there are flooded in the market with the price range of $35 to $500. Depending on the price, the key radar detector is the one that is reliable and efficient in what the user expects them to perform.

Top Notch Radar Detectors and Features

With today’s top-notch radar detector models, they are advanced in technology with smartphone integration, Bluetooth compatibility, and GPS. In terms of those features just mentioned, the Escort Passport Max 360 is the best radar detector 2016, for this year so far at least. Radar detectors will not only save you from speeding tickets but also drive dangers as well as giving you peace of mind and enabling you to drive comfortably and in a relaxed manner.

As a first time buyer or a beginner, you should look out for the following features in the radar detector which include:

  • Digital voice alerts

Select the one with a digital voice alert which will not necessitate you to take your eyes off the road by looking at the display. The Alert will notify you and is safer than the one without a voice alert.

  • Specter or stealth protection

This type of protection known as the specter enables you to know when the law enforcers are using the radar detector detectors (RDD). Additionally, some radar detectors offer stealth protection, by warning when RDD are nearby and shutting down your detector automatically.  

  • Prompt or
    ford taurus police interceptor running radar

    ‘instant-on’ protection

Police have often nailed their notorious or previous speed drivers, and when their gadget is targeted specifically on your vehicle, you might not escape their high-tech radar gadgets. It is therefore advisable to look for the detectors with prompt or instant-on protection which are sensitive and can detect a radar detector that is targeting the vehicle ahead of yours and give an alert.

  • Radar detector type

There are usually three known types that include: cordless, corded and remote-mount. Cordless radar detectors are transferable from one car to another and have excellent installation. Corded radar detectors, on the other hand, can be mounted using suction cups on the interior part of a car that is easily accessible and viewable such as on the windshield. Remote-mount radar detectors are mounted on the car permanently and can be hard for anyone to figure out where they are attached. Depending on the beginner priority, they can choose which type suits their need.

  • 360-Laser Detection Capability

A 360-degree type of laser detector is the most reliable as they use two laser pulses to detect law enforcers’ detectors in both directions which include at the back and the front. 

  • City mode radar detector

If you are driving in an urban setting, the city mode radar detector should be your choice as they are more reliable because they will minimize the range of the detector and avoid getting false alerts from other sources of signals that are equal to the radar guns in the radar detectors.


The above features will enable you to get the most reliable and efficient radar detectors that will perform and enable you to avoid the speeding ticket and at the same time keeping you safe and relaxed. You can also seek advice from the technician about the latest models capability and their efficiency as well to help you look the best radar detectors with the above features.

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How To Properly Hardwire a Radar Detector Into A Vehicle

Car owners who are conscious of their handling of the vehicle in cities and highways are characterized as having thought of hardwiring a radar detector to aid with detection of police speed and laser guns. The hardwiring process is, however, the aspect that many do not get right but with this systematic orientation, you will be able to get it right and revel in having a detection platform to control your driving. 

How to hardwire the radar detector

•    The first step is to splice the Add-A-Circuit to the direct mains cable. This will become the source of power for the Radar Detector.
•    The next step is to integrate a switched fuse which has a capacity of fewer than 10 Amperes by placing it in the Add-A-Circuit. This ensures the Radar Detector will only work when the car is switched on.  
•    You will need to place the Add-A-Circuit into an empty slot in the fuse box of the car to give access to power. 
•    In grounding the Radar Detector, you will need to find the Bolt fastened to the body of the vehicle by tracing the path of the ground wire to the direct wire. 
•    Direct the wires from the power supply to the Radar Detector by lining them against the A-frame to conceal.
•    You can then plug in your radar detector, and you will be good to go. 
The tools and accessories needed for the hardwiring process include;
•    Hardwire Cord
•    Add-A-Circuit
•    Power Converter; if the power will be sourced from the cigarette lighter circuit
•    Fuse preferably 10 Amperes or less
Hardwiring a vehicle takes less than 20 minutes if the instructions are followed perfectly and all accessories are present for use. There are however several aspects that you should look to avoid when trying to hardwire a vehicle since they might affect the effective working of the radar detector. 
•    Avoid using alternatives to hardwire cords like telephone wires since they can affect the relay system of the device thereby leading to ineffective working. 
•    Avoid making the power cable too long since the resistance due to current flow will lead to you needing to replace the wire occasionally due to excessive current buildup. 

Where To Buy

Radar detectors can be accessed from most big stores like Amazon and it is important to trace it from such establishments since you get to have all the other accessories on offer. This is as opposed to getting every single item from different stores. Automobile centers also stand as perfect hubs to get the devices together with the complete list of accessories that can ensure you successfully install and operate the radar detector. 

Ideal Places To Hardwire

Depending on the design and make of the radar detector and the location you wish to place the device, you can choose the ideal place to hardwire. The best places to hardwire a vehicle are the cigarette lighter circuit or the footwell fuse box on the passenger side. This is because they give adequate power supply while also ensuring that the hardwire cord will not have to be long, and the pathway for the wire will also be easily concealed. While using the cigarette lighter circuit however, a converter will be needed to convert the 12V of power to the 5V that the radar detector needs for its working.   
Escort 9500CI intallable radar detector

What Are The Different Types of Police Radar Frequencies Used For Speed Enforcement?

undercover police officer

Before we look at the different types of radar frequencies that police use, we have to know how police radar operates. Police radar operates by transmitting radio waves at a fixed frequency. A portion of the beam reflects from a target that`s moving. The radar quickly and mathematically calculates the speed of that vehicle. The police use this technology to know the vehicles exceeding the set speed limit of that particular country. The different types include X-band, K-band, Ka-band and the most recent one the laser gun. The detection range of a vehicle depends on radar frequency and power, weather and antenna factors. 

a)    X-band 
  X-band is the oldest of all the others. It was the only one used until the mid-1970`s. X-band (10.5 gigahertz or GHz). These are now becoming obsolete. It is known for causing false alarms. It is also used in many supermarkets automatic doors, garage door openers and microwave towers. Radars in the X-band have better all-weather performance, less signal loss in bad weather than higher frequency systems. It is still used in some European countries.
b)    K-band
They have been around since 1976 after the X-band. K-band (24.05 to 24.25 GHz). 45 percent of the 100,000-odd radar in service nationwide use K-band. They generally have more narrow beams than the X-band. It is however hindered by moisture. It works best on clear dry days.
c)    Ka-band
It arrived in 1989. The Ka band (33.8GHz, 34.7GHz, 35.5GHz) are the most common type of radar gun in use. 50 percent of the 100,000-odd radar in service nationwide use Ka band. It`s popularity is based on the fact that is both harder to be detected by radar detectors. Most Ka bands police radars operate on one frequency channel, a few having two channels. It has a narrower beam compare to X-band and K-band radars. Detection of incoming vehicles depends on the atmosphere. The more moisture there is, the harder it is to detect an oncoming vehicle.
d)    Laser guns
 The laser gun is the most recent technology.  It uses a much smaller beam than radar. It is more efficient than the other types since it can easily pick a speeding car out of a crowd. It is close to impossible to be detected by radar detectors since before it can detect; it`s already too late. It is popular in big cities because it can easily single out speeding cars on a crowded roadway. To make sure a good detection is made the cosine effect is reduced by it being placed on a good aim. A flat surface, to get a good aim at the front or back license plate or headlights. Laser detectors have a hard time picking up a laser gun as compared to standard laser guns. They have to be used in a stationery position to enable the police to see the speed-trap.
Health Implications of using radar detectors
With all these radar detectors, the police have raised concerns about the health hazards caused by using this equipment. Long term effects include reproductive malfunction, brain damage, cancer and changes in the behavior or development of children. An example being a recent case reported a case of increased testicular cancer in police using the hand held laser beams. EMF emissions are caused by radars operating at radio frequencies (RF) between 300MHz and 15MHz. These RFs are the ones generally produced by X, K, and Ka bands. These RF fields penetrate exposed body parts (tissues) and produce heating due to energy absorption.
Thus, the more the frequency, the more the effects. Exposure to RF fields above 10GHz at power densities over 1000W/m2 is notorious for causing health effects such as skin burns eye cataracts.
police K band radar unit

What Todays Top 7 Radar Detectors Are On The Market

Escort 9500ci as todays best radar detector to buy (pricey though)
With every technological break, radar detectors continue to be customized to fit the needs of the consumer market. The customizations are what increase user efficiency and rank the devices with their performance and effective set up that allows for users to enjoy an added advantage when it comes to managing the driving experience. The effectiveness of radar detection and relay of the same information is what makes a good device and it is on this criterion that this list of radar detectors performs the ranking.
Valentine One
This has been and remains one of the top performing radar detectors on the market. It ranks first due to the range of detection that it offers the users. With two antennas at the front and back, users can customize the way the radar detection process is achieved. The device covers detection of both speed guns and laser guns, and users can also customize the bands to target the detection they wish to monitor. 
Escort Passport 9500iX
This detector comes in second, and it is largely due to the GPS integration system which works to ensure a user is able to synchronize detection with the location they are in. this aspect increases the precision of the device and also ensures that a user can identify the target areas where radar may be transmitted. 
Escort Max 360 
This is the device that users relish to have within their ranks and comes in at the third place due to its effective radar detection span that covers 360 degrees. This device auto-learns the detection patterns and with the integration of an iPhone App to its working is perfect. It also sieves out false positives to give accuracy in detection. Undoubtably, the updated version called the Max 360 is the best radar detector 2015, even better than the Escort Redline (which is titled as the Kind).
Beltronics Vector V940
Beltronics is one of the top performing radar detectors and comes in at fourth place. It has the ability to detect K, X and superwide bands and in the same wavelength offers users with a chance to have audio and visual alerts. The digital signal processing unit inbuilt in the device is also impressive.
Whistler CR90
Any driver can enjoy the working of the Whistler CR90 and largely due to the fact that it has added features that enhance the scope of its ability. This device can check driver alertness, sieve to target the dominant signals and give real time alerts. Users can also customize the attributes to fit the need setting they have. 
Cobra SPX 7800 BT
The Cobra SPX 7800 BT takes sixth place in the top performing radar detectors list. Its iRadar App stands out as the principle feature as it can offer users a rotating map that exposes the road and lives traffic information. Users can also get radar locations and possible transmission joints with this device. 
Radenso Pro
Radenso Pro has five times distance capture capabilities to that of police speed guns and has a digital processing unit and GPS. It is perfect for both highway and city use.  

Got Pulled Over? Here’s Exactly How To Handle It

Being pulled over by the police is highly common. Many of us, at some point in time may be pulled over by the police while we are driving. it is important to be aware of what to do well in advance if this situation should happen. Anyone who has a driver’s license needs to be aware of what steps to take if a police officer pulls them over when driving. Doing so can help being pulled feel far less stressful. It can also help you avoid additional problems that may result after you have been pulled over. Careful thought in advance is important before it happens. 

Don’t Panic 

The first thing to remember when you are pulled over is not to panic in any way. The odds are that you are not being pulled over for any serious reason. You are probably being pulled over for a minor issue such as broken tail light that may result in nothing more than a warning. When you are being directed to pull over, try to remain as calm as possible. You want to convey to the officer that you do not pose a danger. Keep your voice as normal as you can manage. Avoid conveying an impression of any nervousness. 

Keep Your License and Registration Handy 

Another important tip when driving is to know exactly how where you’ve put your license and registration. If possible, keep them on your person at all times. You should always have your license and registration in reach with you when you are driving. An officer who is pulling you over is sure to ask for them when he pulls you over. Tell him where they are and then reach for them. This helps let him know that you have the right documents on hand during the encounter. Move slowly as you reach for them. 

Follow Instructions Precisely 

Listen closely to the police officer during when he pulls you over. A police officer will often give you precise instructions about what to do during this time. Listen to what they say exactly. If they tell you to get out on the right side of your car, make sure you get on the right side of the car and not the left. If you can’t understand the orders you are being given the first time, ask the officer to repeat them. Then say them back to the officer to make sure that you have it right. 

Be Polite 

Even if you are going to miss an important appointment because the officer has pulled you over, it is still important to be as polite as possible. Address the officer as sir or ma’am if possible. Do not use foul language at any point in time. Do not speak at all unless you absolutely need to do so during the encounter. Your words may be used against you later in time. it is best to just avoid talking at all if possible. If you are asked questions, respond them as quickly as precisely as you can. Your aim to be cooperative and passive without giving the cop any reason to see you as a suspect. 

With any luck, these rules should help you go through any interaction with the police easy, quickly and utterly painlessly. 

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