Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: Why is a radar detector unable to detect laser guns?
Police laser operates differently than radar, which sends out a pulse of electromagnetic (EM) energy, also referred to as RF energy. The radar beam starts out as a small diameter pulse, but grows quite rapidly as distance increases from the gun; such that at 1000 feet, the EM pulse is 300 feet tall and 600 feet wide. If 6 vehicles were hit by the RF radar gun energy (six vehicles driving down a 3 lane interstate), 6 pulses would come back to the radar gun, and the radar gun would detect the largest signal of the 6 signals present. Because a radar signal is so large traveling down the road, a radar detector could be located nearly anyplace around the vehicle, and it will detect the radar signal. However, laser can only be detected at the point where a laser gun is aimed. This is because a laser beam is about 9"-12” wide at 600 feet distance. If a laser gun is aimed at the license plate, the beam is so small, none of the laser signal would be detected up in the windshield by a radar detector. Thus, a radar detector with laser detection installed in the windshield would not even detect the laser beam on the license plate (or headlights or bumper for that matter). This means the beam of a laser gun can actually target a single vehicle out of, let’s say, six vehicles driving down the interstate. The laser gun can target and detect that single vehicle in less than ½ second after the trigger is pulled, while the surrounding vehicles would not detect the laser beam as it passed right beside their vehicle. With radar, you will know it is present because the signal is so large, it is detected by many people at one instant in time. Laser, due to its targeting features, will target you and nobody else for that period of time. Once the trigger is pulled, the only defense to the laser gun is to instantly jam the laser gun as it attempts to target your vehicle speed. If your radar detector did detect the laser beam, the beam is pointing at you, therefore your radar detector just alerted you that the laser bam already has your speed! It's too late. The only way to protect your self from a laser speed trap is to use a laser blocker to block the laser speed reading while you slow down, then turn the laser jammer off, allowing the laser gun to read your ADJUSTED speed after you turned the laser jammer off.
FAQ: How does a radar detector use GPS?
GPS is the Global Positioning System. On some of the newer radar detectors, such as the STiR Plus, Passport 9500ci, Passport Max, Passport 9500ix and Smart Radar, there is a GPS antennae designed into the product. With the STiR Plus and the Passport 9500ci, the GPS antenna is a separate receiving antenna, which receives GPS location information from space satellites. By having a separate GPS antenna, these INSTALLED radar detectors can include a special feature that allows the remote radar detector module to include total electronic invisibility to radar detector detectors. This electronic invisibility hides the local oscillator frequency of the radar detector from the outside world, thus police can not detect a radar detector with electronic invisibility. The separate GPS antenna allows GPS information to be received from the satellites. It is not possible to have a GPS receiving antenna in a windshield radar detector that has total electronic invisibility. The standard windshield radar detector that has a GPS antenna built into the radar detector, such as Passport Max, Passport 9500ix and Passport SmartRadar Detector, can not have RDD electronic invisibility. And a windshield radar detector with total electronic RDD invisibility, such as Beltronics STi Magnum and Escort Redline, can not have a GPS antenna inside the radar detector. As a vehicle with a GPS radar detector travels down the highway, the GPS antenna receives planet earth location data (XY coordinates). The GPS radar detector then compares the actual vehicle X/Y location to a speed camera X/Y data map, which is stored in memory of the GPS radar detector. When the vehicle location gets within 500 yards of a known speed camera location, stored in the radar detector data files, the radar detector will alert the driver is up ahead. The stored, speed camera locations may be up to date or may not be up to date, depending on how recent the WEB download of the radar detector was completed. The WEB download is where the radar detectors is connected to a computer, allowing the owner to log onto the Escort Radar or Beltronics web site to update the speed camera locations of the radar detector memory. The GPS memory also serves a second advantage. When the radar detector with GPS detects a false radar alert, the false radar location can be stored in memory as a temporary ID, and when the same location and frequency is detected 3 times, then the false radar location is confirmed and stored in regular memory of radar detector "with GPS". Radar Detectors that do not have GPS, can not provide theis feature, and only Passport and Beltronics offers this specific capability in 4 different radar detectors: Beltronics STiR Plus, Passport 9500ci, Passport Max and Passport 9500ix.
FAQ: What does Speed Measurement Laboratories do?
Speed Measurement Labs (SML) is an independent test lab which tests a large variety of radar, laser and photo radar products every year, to evaluate the performance of those products. SML tests each product to see if it meets its claims. SML does not identify who is specifically best in category, but their test methods are consistent. 1stRadarDetectors.com participates with SML every year on nearly all radar and laser tests performed, so we are able identify which products are best in each category by directly participating in and monitoring each test. With the help of the local law enforcement officials, we get to observe the latest police radar guns, police laser guns and other speed detection applications in action. So 1stRadarDetectors.com is always on top of the new radar and laser dangers being developed. In the field of radar detection, SML is predominantly known for testing the highway performance of radar guns, laser guns, radar/laser detectors, radar jammers, and laser jammers. Each company involved in testing must pay a fee to cover the costs of the comprehensive tests. The tests include 3 passes each, at distances of 600 feet, 1000 feet (where most activity occurs) 2000 feet, 5000 feet (for distance tests), and measure the performance of each product at X, K, Ka , Pop 3 K & Ka frequencies, plus police laser. In some cases, up to 30 passes are made depending on the features of each product. 3 passes each are used to confirm consistency of product response. Maximum distance, false noise, strength of signal at each frequency are major test points to determine radar detector performance. The majority of radar detector and radar jammer companies participate, as they want to offer to the buying public proof that their products are rated high by SML. However, some companies come away disappointed as their test results are obviously poor. Some companies, such as Rocky Mountain Radar, refuse to participate, although they have been invited numerous times.
FAQ: Which is the top radar detector?
In October 2013, Beltronics introduced the new STi Magnum radar Detector and the STi-R Plus, an installed radar detector. Escort Radar introduced the Passport Max 2. Which is the top radar detector? Speed Measurement Laboratories has tested all these radar detectors. The STi Magnum and Passport 9500ix are for customers who prefer a radar detector in the windshield. The STi-R Plus and Passport 9500ci are remote radar detectors installed around the vehicle to hide the radar laser from view. The STi-R Plus has a superb Ka frequency program that the Passport 9500ci does not have. The Passport 9500ci comes with a ShifterPro Dual, or an optional ShifterPro. A very informative and nice looking, Beltronics STi-R plus and Passport Max cockpit alert display is provided with programming capabilities is installed in the driver's compartment. The Beltronics and Escort Radar products provide few false radar alerts and very fast response time, high Ka and K sensitivity, detection of the new sub K band photo radar, Ka radar. Voice alerts are also provided with WEB updates on certain radar detectors. The STi magnum, and Escort Redline are the two best windshield radar detectors with total electronic invisibility to all forms of police radar detector detectors. The Passport Max and Passport 9500ix are the two best GPS Photo radar detectors providing speed camera alerts, false alert learning capabilities, WEB downloads, etc. Valentine One is still a well known radar detector because of its directional radar alerts to the front, rear and side. Although the V1 is superb in detecting radar at distances as good as the best radar detectors, the downside of the Valentine 1 is that is has way too many false alerts. This is because the Valentine 1 does not have a false alert learning program using GPS capabilities. The other downside is that the Valentine One can be detected by Spectre III, Spectre IV, Spectre Plus, OPP Spectre, Stalcar RDD, but it is invisible to VG2 and VG4 radar detector detectors.
FAQ: Why shouldn't I buy a cheap radar detector?
Are you asking if there are cheap radar detectors that work? Yes, but they offer no performance! Ask the question differently. What is the least expensive radar detector that will alert reasonably well over the hill and around blind curves? That would be the Passport 8500X50 at $339.95. If you w3ant a better radar detector, then take a look at the STi Magnum or Redline radar detector. What good is a low-performance, low-cost radar detector or laser scrambler if it doesn't alert you in time or gives too many false alerts? Don't waste money on a product that may cost you more in the end with a missed alert or too many false alerts. At 1stRadarDetectors.com, helping our customers is more important to us than making a buck selling inferior products. Every year, we participate in radar detector and laser jammers tests with Speed Measurement Labs in El Paso, Texas. We test ALL of the products we sell on our website, and WE ONLY SELL THE BEST RADAR DETECTORS AND LASER JAMMERS IN THE WORLD. We won't sell products that perform poorly. Period. If we don't carry a product you're looking for, you're probably looking for the wrong product! Average radar detectors can't detect radar signals coming from police radar traps over hill tops or around blind curves Any of our top rated radar detectors will detect that weak police radar signal and give you time to low down before you get to the top of that hill or around that blind curve. And the best radar detectors won't give a false alert every time someone in the neighborhood opens their garage door! So-called 'passive radar scramblers can't jam a police radar gun aimed at your vehicle. In fact, radar scramblers can not jam radar at all, as they have been tested at Speed Measurement Labs and found to be unable to meet their claims to protect drivers from radar guns! An HP905 Quad laser jammer will blank the speed display of every police laser gun aimed at any location on your vehicle, front or back, giving you time to check your speed. 10% of photo speed traps use analog cameras, while 90% of photo speed traps have switched to digital cameras. Passive anti-photo blocker sprays can't block a digital camera. Companies offering these photo radar sprays neglect to tell their customers this. A superb GPS photo radar product will alert you to approaching speed trap cameras, red light cameras and even high-accident intersections. www.1stRadarDetectors.com provides factual product test reports from companies such as Speed Measurement Laboratories. We focus only on the very best radar detectors, laser jammers, photo radar alert products and complete 360 degree integrated radar detector and laser jammer systems. We are The Experts in Police Radar and Laser Countermeasures and we provide certified test results of our products in action.
FAQ: How is a radar detector, laser jammer and photo blocker tested for performance?
Many companies offer test results that are factually correct, but do not answer the questions a potential buyer wants to know. For example, radar detectors can detect front and rear radar signals, also referred to as 360 degree protection, but there is only one radar detector that actually has a rear facing radar antenna and can detect a Ka radar signal at 3 miles, while the standard radar detector would detect rear radar at about 2 miles. This assumes both radar detectors are located high in the windshield. You can test radar detectors by driving by the road side speed displays that tell you your speed. You can also drive by man y stores in town , which will cause a radar detector to alert to the store front, automatic door openers using radar to signal the door to open when people get close to the door. This kind of store front radar is referred to as false radar alerts. Most laser jammers claim to jam all laser guns, but they do not say how good their performance is at any distance a laser gun could be used. There are passive photo sprays, passive laser plates, photo plates, and many of these companies think that if they offer a low cost product with marketing words which claim to help you walk on water, they will get your money. And of course there are the passive scrambler products with claims to jam radar and laser, but those types of products have never passed any radar or laser highway tests conducted by Speed Measurement Labs or 1st Radar Detectors since 1993. How would you determine what is the best product for our use, given most manufactures claim to have the best performance? We actually test radar detectors and laser jammers every year with Speed Measurement Labs, so we can tell you wish radar laser product scored best in 9 mile tests, over the hill tests, false alert tests, etc.
FAQ: When I get a solid laser alert from a radar detector or a laser jammer, what should I do?
When a laser gun paints your vehicle, it has already detected your speed when your radar/laser detector alert sounds the alarm. If you were speeding, the officer will make a decision to pull you over for a citation or to let you go. However, if you are operating a Blinder laser jammer, you have an extremely good opportunity to defeat the laser beam, and while your jammer is defeating the beam, you can carefully, wisely adjust your speed accordingly, then turn the laser jammer off; so that the laser gun can then detect your adjusted speed. The officer using the laser gun, may try to get your speed once or twice over a 3 second period of time, during which you are carefully adjusting your speed. Once the desired speed is achieved, let them detect your speed by shutting the jammer off. They will detect your legal speed at that time, and the speed will then be posted on their laser display. If you have a laser jammer, up until that point, the laser gun could not display your speed. Once you have driven through the laser trap, then you can turn your laser jammer back on. Yes, you could leave the jammer on during the entire encounter, but then if the officer can not read your speed at all, then he/she will be curious as to the situation and then may follow you and pull you over for some silly reason. Use a laser jammer wisely.
FAQ: What is a Radar Jammer and are they available?
A Radar Jammer detects an RF signal from an X-band, K-band or Ka band radar gun, which is used in a radar speed trap. The radar jammer immediately begins to lock onto the incoming radar frequency, and then transmits back an overpowering noise signal to the radar gun. When the radar gun receives this noise signal, the radar gun's microprocessor begins to track the wildly fluctuating, false Doppler signals from the radar jammer. As long as the radar gun microprocessor is kept busy tracking a false and ever-changing Doppler signal, it can not display a speed reading. Therefore the gun display remains blank. During this period of time, the radar jammer has alerted you to either X, K or Ka radar, allowing you to safely adjust your speed to the posted speed limit, at which time you shut the radar jammer off, allowing your adjusted speed to be detected by the radar gun. Since your speed is now at the posted speed limit, the radar gun operator pays no more attention to you, and starts searching for the next victim. The last radar jammer used in the USA and Canada was the Scorpion radar jammer, which was preceded by the Phantom VRCD, all of which are now banned in the USA.
FAQ: What is the difference between anti-photo License Plate Covers, anti-photo sprays and Speed Camera, Photo Blockers?
Anti-photo license plate covers, such as Chameleon, Super Protector, etc. are passive devices that cause the camera flash reflection to be dispersed away from the camera, so that the received picture is not recognizable to the human eye. We see light wavelengths between 425 nanometers and 700 nanometers, low blue to high red colors. The passive devices scatter the reflected light enough that our eye can not discern the original image. These passive devises worked to defeat older, ProDB_Wavelengths_horizontalnon-digital, speed camers; but they can not defeat a digital camera, because digital cameras have a much wider view of the light spectrum between 250 nanometers to 1100 nanometers wavelength. The 250 nanometer wavelengths are ultra-violet colors below our vision of blue; while the 1100 nano-meters are infrared colors, well above our red vision. The anti-photo plates are made of plastic with a lens either designed into the plastic or attached to the plastic cover. The anti-photo plate is bolted against the license plate and the lens is designed to scatter the reflected light reflected off the plate away from the camera aperature. This is effect obscures the alpha-numeric characters from the camera, typically located at an angle of 20-30 degrees from the side of the road. This is the typical angle that photo cameras are installed on the side of the road, but can also be installed above the road on bridges or poles. The plates will distort the plate characters at all times from the side of the road, or from above the road, but not both. Police do not appreciate this as they drive by your vehicle and are not able to see your plate for a short period of time. In most states, this is called obfuscation; i.e., hiding the plate, and the police will write a ticket in many instances when they see a dark cover or a lens over the plate. When a bright light is pointed at the anti-photo cover as with a camera flash, the distorted characters will not show up in the photo image under non-digital photo imaging. If an analog picture camera is used these types of anti-photo covers will work, but all digital cameras today are digital, which makes the anit-photo plate useless. When digital imaging is used, as with speed cameras today, these types of anti-photo plate covers are worthless, as discussed above. Photo Sprays, such as Photo Fog, Photo Spray (an endless number of product names) are designed to spray (via hand pump or pressurized can) a liquid over the surface of your license plates. 99.999% of the customers do not realize that this type of material is very close to a hair spray product, or is a hair spray product, re-packaged in a new can with a different name. (I wonder what is going through your mind at this point) Liquid chemicals such as this or hair spray, are emitted as a liquid and when the liquid drops contact a surface, (whether hair or a metal plate), the liquid will evaporate, forming millions of ultra-small crystals, which are cubicle in form. When a bright light is pointed at the plate as with a camera flash, the millions of ultra-small crystals on the license plate will cause a very bright reflection to the camera; in effect blinding the camera. The photo camera’s normal operation is to use radar (sometimes laser) to detect the speed of oncoming vehicles. When detecting a speed greater than the set point of the camera (posted speed limit), the radar will command the camera to trigger at the right moment in time, no matter how fast you are driving, and take a photo of the plate (and the driver, if the camera is set up for oncoming traffic). The image is then sent by email to a processing facility, or the data is stored on some sort of memory device and picked up from time to time by an operator. The images are then compared to a local data base, and a speeding ticket, based on the speed of the vehicle, is mailed to the registrant. When an image from a license plate protector or photo spray is encountered, the image can be easily inversed using standard digital photo programs to bring out the alpha-numeric characters, and the driver still gets a speeding ticket. So much for the anti-photo plates and anti-photo sprays. Photo Blockers come in two designs, both using a flash detector and bright flash to either prevent the speed camera from getting your license plate image ( blind the plate from the camera image). One active Photoblocker will flash back at the camera to blind the camera and any body who happens to be looking in the direction of the active photo jammer. This type of flash back photo blocker is a hazard to other drivers. The 2nd type of photo blocker (ProDB-2) detects the ProDB_Truck_Minibright flash, but rather than flash back at the camera, the flash is directed over the license plate, causing the alpha-numeric characters to become totally white, no matter what color the characters are. Because this flash is directed downward, it achieves the jamming in a safe manner, and blinds only the license plate from the camera image. In either case of active photo jamming, the plate is always visible to any police who happen to drive by. When the active photo jammer detects a flash, the photo camera gets a picture of bright white light, thus it does not matter if the image is inversed electronically; since the image is white, the inverse of white is black. All the camera will get is white in normal imaging mode, or black in an inverse image mode, thus a speeding ticket can not be mailed to the registrant of the vehicle using an active Photo blocker. If you use the license plate covers, or a photo spray liquid, it may be a lot less expensive, but you are only giving your money away, since the operators know they need only push a button to inverse the photo image to get the license plate image. Cheap thrills! You still get a speed camera ticket, even though you paid $29.95, the typical cost of the spray or license plate cover. Click here for photo blocker.
FAQ: Will a laser jammer, laser shifter or radar detector defeat a Speed Camera photo radar speed trap?
A laser based, photo speed trap camera is aimed across the road at 22 - 25 degrees at the front of oncoming cars; or it is aimed at the rear of the vehicle at the same angle across the road. The laser beam is about 50 – 100 feet from the vehicle, when the car crosses the laser beam. While the laser jammer would detect the photo laser speed trap, the laser jamming is looking for laser to the front of the vehicle. Where is the camera position - left, right or above? Should one purchase a laser jammer or photo blocker to defeat a speed camera using a laser beam. If you aim your laser jammers to the left at 22 degrees and to the right at 22 degrees, your laser jammers will detect and defeat the laser beams of a photo speed camera, IF IT USES LASER to activate the speed camera. You would also need 2 additional laser jammers, aimed at 22degrees to the left and right on the rear of the vehicle? What if the camera is at 4 feet height or a typical 10-12 feet height with pole mounted speed cameras? Then the laser jammer may or may not jam the photo speed trap. If the photo speed trap was triggered by radar, then a laser jammer could not jam the photo radar gun, nor could a radar jammer, unless the laser or radar jammers is aimed at 22 degrees to the left and right of the vehicle! So, it is not feasible to use a laser jammer or radar jammer to defeat a photo speed camera. The only sure way to jam a laser based, photo speed trap or toll camera is to use an active Photo Blocker. The ProDB photo blocker bypasses the radar laser signals and reacts only to the speed camera photo flash, which is why the ProDB photo blocker should be used to defeat speed cameras.
Call 1st Radar Detectors in Canada at 250-324-8004 or in the USA at 720-635-3931 to discuss your requirements and we will figure out what what you need for your business or your vehicle, and find a US/Canada installer for you. Regards, John Turner
Contact 1st radar Detectors at sales@1stRadarDetectors.com to purchase a radar detectors, laser jammer, radar laser jammer; and a photo blocker on passenger cars, pick up trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and New Zealand.