Radar and Laser Detectors – the Layout

Speed: It’s something a lot of us yearn to do while in a car. You’re late to your appointment; you forgot your kid gets out early; your boss told you that if you were late once more, you’re fired! All of these things give us reason to speed, but is it worth the ticket? Absolutely not. This is why you should consider investing some money in a nice radar detector. Now I’m not condoning speeding. On the contrary, I’m all about keeping the roads safe for everyone!

However, when you are in a hurry, and the only thing stopping you from getting to your destination on time is to speed by the old lady on your left, then you may want to think about getting something to help you keep an eye out for the cops. The cops have no hesitation to pull over a speeder, and when they do, they usually will write you a ticket. These things can be costly and will go on your DMV driving record! If you were thinking that you would like a little help to warn you of police while you are speeding, then I suggest you invest a little money in a radar/laser detector. If you are still interested, then keep reading, but if not, then this may be a waste of your time, but also very valueable information.

Radar/laser detectors can be anywhere from $40 to $300+. To keep this plain and simple: there are different brand names you should be aware of, and what their specialty is. Also if you were thinking about getting one, you may also consider the following:

  • Do I speed enough to need a radar/laser detector?
  • Do I have the extra money to afford one?
  • Overall, is it worth it?

Now if you think you still need one, then go ahead and continue, as you will find very helpful information:

Different BANDS of radars/lasers police use:

X-band – An older band, Almost never used in California, but I’d never suggest to turn it off on a detector. Picked up on radars from SafeWay electric doors or gas stations sometimes. A common confusion with all radar detectors.
K-band – A harder to detect band of radar. Commonly used in California and many other states. It’s becoming more popular as well.
Ka band – This is one of the latest bands of radars. Not very common at all, but in California, I’ve caught a few cops using this one. It has the secondary name “Ka Super-wide” meaning its almost impossible to detect by regular detectors.
POP – The latest in police technology. It acts as a laser that “pops” different cars to check speeds much faster than a normal laser gun. Not popular in most states, however in California, I have caught a ton of cops using this. Meaning California is pretty up-to-date on thier technology used by police.
Laser – If your hit by this, your toast if your speeding. It accuratly tells the police your speed and he can now write you a ticket. However, most radar/laser detectors now-a-days can pick this up fairly easily.

VG-2 – This is a system used by radar/laser detectors to pick up “radar detector-detectors”. Police have the detectors that can pick up YOUR radar detector and let them know your using one so they can keep a sharp eye out for you. Most detectors can pick up one of these however and as a result, the radar/laser detector shuts itself down automatically to be un-detected.

WhistlerÃ?© – Whistler is a fairly cheap brand of radar detectors. They carry anything from the low-end models such as the “DE-1742” to thier higher quality “DE-1756’s”. Whistler is the cheaper brand of radar detector and is recommended to those who aren’t as frequent at speeding and usually only travel about 5-10 miles over the speed limit. These radar detectors can start as low as $40 or less, and can go about as high as $100+. I have purchased the $100 model one, and it has saved me a good $80 ticket while on the freeway once. The cop was using POP to catch people (POP-A laser gun that “pops” cars to check various speeds at a higher rate than a regular laser gun).

Whistler is known for thier “EscortÃ?©”-like range when it comes to lasers.

CobraÃ?© – A common brand, not too shabby. This is the brand you may want to go for if you only speed fairly often, but only go at a max, 15 miles over the speed limit. My friend had a $80 Cobra detector once, and it saved him once on a ticket about a mile up the road. Not too bad, but he wasn’t speeding very much. This is recommended if you only go over the speed limit a bit.

EscortÃ?© – An extremely well known brand of radar/laser detector. This company has earned “Best Radar/Laser Detector of the Year” award before for thier performance with radar/laser detectors. They are leading in the market right now just above the V1 (Valentine 1), with thier 8500 X50 Passport (what I now have). They may not be cheap (at all) but they sure are reliable. I have the $300 Passport, and it has saved me multiple times from a ticket now. I’ve caught 5 different cops using POP, 1 using Ka, several using X-band, and a few using the K-band. Also, it has “VG-2 Immunity” making it ‘invisible’ to radar detector detectors. It also has an upgradable chip inside so if new police technology is released, you won’t have to go out and buy a brand new detector and scrap your brand new costly one.

Rocky MountainÃ?© – Not very well known, and shoddy quality.
Rocky Mountain has tried to enter the competition with thier so called “radar detectors/jammers”. They claim you can jam a radar/laser while finding out where they are. This has failed on many levels of different tests. Not to mention they are very pricy with thier radar/laser detectors. I would by all means, NOT recommend this brand at all. Stick to the Escorts and Whistlers.

BeltronicsÃ?© – Highly well-known brand of radar/laser detectors.
These folks have been on the market for a real long time and have been making quality radar/laser detectors for years. They have a competitor for the Escort X50 Passport, the Beltronics 995. High prices as well, but very good quality. Over in the Cobra vs. Beltronics department of your local retail store, I’d chose beltronics anyday.

Now overall, this has just been a review of some brands I’ve done research on. I’m sure there are others out there, but this is all I can offer right now. Bottom line:
Ask yourself how much you speed, or if you even NEED to speed?

If you are light on the gas but do speed, maybe 10-15 miles over, I’d suggest something simple such as a Cobra or a Whistler. You may want to take a look at the description on the package as well to see what quality you will be getting.

However, if you are a “lead-foot” on the gas, I’d go with higher quality Escort’s. Personally, I love the most exspensive 8500 X50 Passport, but if you have a budget, I’d shoot for something less, but then you may not want to do too much speeding.

One other thing you may need to know: radar/laser detectors won’t always pick up a cop car just driving along. They must be using some kind of laser gun to tag you. But be advised, police can also tail you from a distance so you cannot see them, and clock your speed. They have other ways of checking your speed than using a gun.

Once more, I do not condone speeding, but I do encourage knowledge. Hope you enjoyed your read, and have a safe and fun drive!

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