Best Radar Detector, Best Laser Jammer, SML 2009

Jul 15, 2009 – NIWOT, CO –

The Passport 9500ix won the “Best in Test” radar detector for SML 2009, because of its distance performance, over the hill performance, low false radar alerts, web updates. Bel STi Driver took 2nd place this year
The Bel STi Driver took second place for overall radar detector performance. The Blinder M47 took best in test for laser jamming, so if you wanted a combo package with best radar detection, 100% electronic invisibility and best laser, these two products are quite good.
Cobra radar has been improving their technology faster than other companies, and one of their products tested well enough in June 2009, that we felt it deserved comparison to the best radar detectors. The Cobra XRS-9960G provided excellent performance, and found a way to combine RDD electronic invisibility with GPS photo radar capabilities. While it is not #1 for radar detection distance and Over the Hill radar detector performance, for the price, this radar detector provides radar and photo speed camera detection as well as providing 100% electronic invisibility to Spectre iii, Spectre iv, used most by police in the USA and Canada.
Stectre iii and Spectre iv were tested for detection of radar detectors. The Bel STi Driver and Cobra 9960g and Cobra R10G were all invisible. Passport 9500ix, Bel GX65, Valentine One and all the Whistler radar detectors were detected.
When you are coming over a hill, how well does your radar detector detect a radar gun waiting for you as you come over the hill? The distance radar test provides similar results as an Over the Hill: radar test. The Passport 9500ix, Bel STi Driver, and Valentine did very well.
This is a picture describing what a laser jammer is supposed to do. If the laser jammer is doing its job, it will detect the incoming laser beam, instantly block the speed reading before the laser gun gets a reading, and simultaneously alerting you to adjust your speed. The Blinder Laser Jammers do this and now also provide WEB updates for any new jamming codes that come out from time to time.
The Escort Redline radar detector is identical to the Bel STi Driver with exception of the external enclosure, but was not yet available to test, when we attended SML09 in June 2009.
The Escort C65 radar detector is identical to the Bel RX65 with exception of the slight variations of the external enclosure, but was not yet available to test, when we attended SML09 in June 2009.
The Escort Qi45 is a new installed radar detector that will be available in January 2010.

June 18 – June 20, El Paso, Texas

Radar Detector News

Radar detector reviews include the newest Cobra radar detector called the Cobra XRS-9960G, which combines radar detection and photo speed camera alerts in one radar detector. Radar detector tests were completed on the Bel STi Driver, Whistler XTR 695 radar detector, Cobra 9960G, Cobra R10G, Bel GX65 and the Passport 9500ix radar detector. The Escort Passport 9500ix won the “Best in Test” position this year, beating out the Bel STi Driver, which won in 2008. We tested the Valentine One; as well as the new TPX motorcycle radar detector from Adaptive. Notably, the new Blinder laser jammers were available, so we got first test of the Blinder 47 laser jammer, which we installed on a Chevrolet 2500HD pickup. We also installed a Blinder M27 laser jammer on a Mustang GT, and we installed a Cheetah M27, motorcycle laser jammer on a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle.

Radar Detector, POP3, Instant On

Test vehicles were driven out to two mile positions from the radar guns. Although X, band, K band and Ka band were being tested, Ka radar is the radar gun used most, and according to Speed Measurement Labs, 41 states now prefer Ka radar guns over all other radar. There are 3 radar frequencies in the Ka band being used: 33.8 GHz (pronounced giga-hertz), 34.7 GHz and 35.5 GHz. The 34.6 GHz frequency is reserved for photo radar systems in the USA and Canada and England, while 34.4GHz is reserved for Euro Photo radar traps. The local El Paso police officers conduct the test, so we have the best objective testing and data collection. Each radar gun was triggered for three seconds for instant on radar, and triggered for ten seconds on constant transmit radar. Any radar detector unable to detect at the respective distance, was driven closer until it did detect the radar, at which distance it was noted. Signal strength was also measured. Passport 9500ix provided best test results.

Photo Radar – Speed Cameras and Red Light Cameras

Red light cameras and speed cameras have increased in use significantly in 2008 and 2009. Guess why? Money. While they claim it is about safety, the average photo camera makes between 0.5 million and 2.5 million dollars a year in revenue. No man power is needed. You drive too fast, and it takes a picture, emails the image of your license plate and the speed to a processing center, and you get a “Ticket in the Mail”. The two types of cameras are called Red Light Cameras and Speed cameras. Red Light Cameras serve two functions: running a red light and speeding on a green light. Yes, you get two tickets with one camera. Technology is amazing for the police. Intersection cameras are placed at dangerous intersections with a history of accidents. Running red lights is a life and death situation, so I can not argue the purpose. The other camera is referred to as a speed camera, located along side suburban roads and highways. In the US, Phoenix, Tucson, Houston, Washington DC to name a few cities are big on cameras. These cameras are used where higher speeds are known, thus revenue is higher. Whether we like them or not, whether fair or unfair, the speed cameras are here to stay.

Radar detectors without GPS capabilities can not alert to speed cameras nearly as well as a GPS radar detector. The best GPS radar detectors are Passport 9500ix, Bel GX65 and Cobra XRS-9960G. Any radar detector without GPS is at a disadvantage. The use of GPS can help to reduce one type of false alerts, typically referred to as store front alerts. When your radar detector is on in town, and you drive by a Best Buy store for example, the front doors are opened by K band or X band motion detectors. Since a radar detector detects radar, then it will alert to the store front door. That is a false radar alert and drives people buggy. The Passport 9500ix can actually remember these store front locations automatically, store it in memory as a “Do not Alert” location. The GPS knows where you are on planet earth, and the Passport also can detect the exact frequency of the false radar location, thus remember the location and frequency not to alert to. Yet it will know if a police car is out front with a different radar frequency at the same store location. The Bel GX65 can redu8ce false alerts manually by having the driver mark each location manually. Other kinds of inconsistent false radar alerts caused by military aircraft, passenger jets can still alert the radar detector, but they are in frequent. While all the GPS radar detectors did their job detecting the photo speed cameras, the Passport 9500ix features of using GPS to automatically reduce false radar alerts, makes it the best in test for photo radar and reducing false radar alerts. The Bel GX65 and Cobra 9960G also did very well in photo radar testing.

Radar Detector Detector tests, RDD, Spectre iii, Spectre iv, VG2

Two radar detector companies win in this test with 3 radar detectors, and what a surprise with the Cobra XRS-9960G and Cobra XRS-R10G being 100% invisible to police RDD. That blew my socks off. Cobra has done such good job of improving their technology, and this electronic invisibility is a remarkable improvement for Cobra radar detectors.

I had no doubt the Bel STi Driver would win, and win it did. You could be standing on your hood, dancing at 60 MPH, with a Bel STi Driver in your pocket, and while I do not recommend this dance, you could have every radar detector detector in the country drive by you while you are dancing, and they may think it si odd that you are up there, but they would not detect the Bel STi Driver. Nor would the detect the Cobra 9960G or Cobra R10G.

Escort Radar has the Escort Redline radar detector coming out in October 2009. It has the same radar detection performance and dual antennae design as the STi Driver, has the same 100% electronic invisibility to RDD as the STi Driver, but the Redline radar detector was not available for the SML 2009 test in June 2009. Because it is nearly identical to the Bel STi Driver with the same dual antennae design of the Bel STi Driver and has the same electronic invisibility, the Escort Redline will likely test with the same performance. It will have additional features.

The RDD tests are most important for Spectre iii and Spectre iv. VG2 is no longer produced but still used by some police. In the RDD test, Cobra 9960G gets the overall best in test, because it also alerts to VG2, VG4, Spectre ii, Spectre iii, Spectre iv and Spectre iv+. Beltronics is equally good at invisibility, but does not alert to the RDD. Each radar detector tested was exposed to three radar detector detectors. Each radar detector that was tested approached the RDD from the 1000 foot distance at 30 mph. Cobra XRS-R10 G, Cobra XRS-9960 G and Beltronics STI Driver were not detected by any RDD on any attempt. The other radar detectors were measured at each distance detected using a laser gun to range the RDD distance detected. Passport 9500ix, Bel GX65 did very well, but could be detected as the comparison chart shows. Each radar detector was given two passes at each of the three RDD units tested.

Radar Detection at 9 Miles – Yes 9 miles!

This is an excellent test measuring the radar detectors real capability at detecting police radar. Simply put, SML found a long road just off Interstate 10 in West Texas that has the right terrain of distance and slight hills. Each radar detector was tested on X band, K band and Ka 34.7 GHz radar bad. Escort 9500ix and Valentine One were best in test. Bel STi Driver and Bel GX65 were second best. This test is similar to testing radar “Over the Hill”, where a police car is sitting on one side of a hill and you are driving over the hill at a half mile away. The weak radar signal at 9 miles distance is the same kind of weak radar signal you get when driving over a hill into a hidden radar trap on the other side of the hill or around a blind curve. Will your radar detector detect that weak signal coming through the earth as you drive over a hill or through the trees as you round a curve? Or will it crap out and not alert until you get to the top of the hill or around the curve in the line of sight? The poor radar detectors can not detect the weak radar signals, while the good radar detectors can alert to the hidden radar trap before they detect your vehicle speed.

SWS Alerts

Safety Warning alerts were also tested. SWS, Safety Warning System, is a radar alert typically used around construction zones. Many of these Safety Warning devises are used on medical ambulances, school buses and in highway construction zones. They are also used as drones on DOT trucks and some police vehicles. Radar gun manufacturers produce radar drones as well. The radar drones typically transmit K band radar at 24.150 GHz or Ka Band at 34.7 GHz signal, and sometimes with X Band at 10.525 GHz. All radar detectors detected SWS, and many of these radar detectors such as Passport 9500ix and Bel STi Driver can voice an “SWS Warning”, while Valentine One simply alerts to Ka band or Ka band.

Laser Jamming

The Blinder M47 laser jammer, Blinder M27 laser jammer and the Cheetah M27 laser jammer were tested on three vehicles. The M47 laser jammer was installed on the front of a large Chevy Silverado truck with lots of reflective chrome. The Blinder M27 was installed on the front of a white Mustang GT, and we installed the Cheetah M27 on the front of a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle. Everybody was concerned the Chevy 2500HD pickup had too much chrome, but the Blinder M47 jammed each laser pass. During this laser test, the laser gun was used at a sharp angle across two lanes. Normally, laser is used above the lane on a bridge overpass or is used in the same lane as the traffic comes toward the laser gun, or as the traffic goes away from the laser gun. SML had a nice phrase to summarize the Blinder laser tests: “Graphs are great, but not needed here. In the 162 runs against all laser [guns] at 1,000 ft, and 500 ft. cones, by the truck, the Mustang, and the [Hayabusa] motorcycle, all with a Blinder [laser jammer] mounted, Blinder successfully jammed each laser gun, each time. We are still scratching our heads on how Blinder did it.

Call 1st Radar Detectors in Canada at 250-324-8004 or in the USA at 309-681-5235 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

STiR Plus, HP905 Quad Laser Jammer, APC Power Control

STiR Plus, HP905 Quad, HP905 Dual and ProDB-2 Dual PhotoBlocker

Contact 1st radar Detectors at to purchase a radar detectorslaser jammerradar 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.