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March 2009 Archives

March 31, 2009

Radar Detector Tips: Keeping Suction Cups Fresh

Hi there, today I thought we would talk about something other than red light cameras. Crazy talk I know, but there are a lot of tips and tricks out there for radar detectors. Now some of these are, well, more subjective than others, but a few of these are just smart, simple, and useful.

Out first tip, or trick is one for those of you using windshield brackets. Have you noticed that after a while the suction cups used to hold the bracket to the windshield seem warped, all worn out, and may even not hold as well anymore. Well, try placing them for a short bit in some boiling water. That should have them return to their original springy state. At least they will be clean.

Now if they are still not as good as new, try this. Place a very small amount of either liquid dish soap or Vaseline on the suction cup (very, very, small amount). This will help them adhere better to the windshield and will not leave much of a mess later to clean up. Do not use anything else though, trust me, you may want to remove the radar detector someday.

If the two tricks above do not work we also sell replacement mounting brackets along with a large selection of accessories. Try boiling them first though, you may be surprised.

March 26, 2009

No More Red Light Cameras in One State

We have been talking a lot about red light cameras lately it seems. Well here is a short bit of information on the fight to remove red light cameras. Mississippi has passed a law that will remove red light cameras from the state.

Jackson Mississippi has stopped issuing tickets or collecting fines based on pictures taken by red light cameras already. The only remaining city with red light cameras, Columbus has until October 1st to remove them. The law also makes the installation of new red light cameras illegal, stopping their installation in other cities in the state.

This relates to red light cameras only, not to in-car police cameras or even speed cameras. From the article, the law passed "...the House 117-3 on Feb. 11. It passed the Senate 42-9 on March 4." That looks a bit one sided, and it would seem that people are being listened to at least in one state.

As long as sates view red lights as more of a revenue generator, than say a tool for traffic management, we hope to keep you informed. We offer a great selection of camera protection devices until the cameras are gone.

Way to go Mississippi!

March 19, 2009

I Need a New Radar Detector! Wait, No I Need a Red Light and Speed Camera Detector. Oh, You can Have Both!

Ok, after the last Veil Guy post, we started talking about how there are a lot of interesting red light and speed camera related products out now in the world of radar detectors. So we decided to create a list of the most popular products that function as both a radar detector and camera detector.

Even though some communities have been able to have red light and speed cameras removed, their use is still growing. Combine that with the fact that some cities are purposely shortening the length of yellow lights to generate revenue. (I had to retype that last part. Making a light shorter just to write more tickets is rude and annoys me. My first comment was more vehement .)

So here you go, our list of radar detectors that can also be used to warn you of Yellow Light Cash Generators. (See what I did there.) Oh, we would like to point out, this list is far from comprehensive. We also have some detectors with opional red light and speed camera components you can get separately. These however have everything you need in one box:

Bel Professional Series GX65 Radar Detector (Red Display) Preloaded database of camera locations that can be updated from their website or manually updated.

Cobra XRS R9960G Radar Detector Preloaded database of camera locations that can be updated from their website or manually updated.

Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector (Blue Display) Preloaded database of camera locations that can be updated from their website or manually updated.

Escort Passport 9500i Radar Detector (Blue Display) Note: You must manually enter the camera location.

Escort Passport 9500i Radar Detector (Red Display) Note: You must manually enter the camera location.

Blinder Replacement Lens Covers

Just letting all of you know, we now have Blinder replacement lens cover sets in stock. Works with all Blinder Xtreme models, including the current M25 and M45. Are your lens covers all chipped and cracked from road debris? Excessive wear to the lenses can impact the performance capabilities of your Blinder Laser Jammer.
Blinder Lens Covers
Each set contains two replacement covers for $39.99. Note: These are covers only, not the modules.

March 17, 2009

The Veil Guy vs. Red Light Cameras (Well Sorta)

It would seem this is a good time of year for comparison test. We just had our License Plate Protection Comparison Test of 2009, and the Veil Guy has a great test of GPS red light/speed camera/radar detectors over at his blog.

As part of his review of the new Cobra XRS 9960G, he also compares the Beltronics Professional Series GX 65, the Escort Passport 9500ix, and the Cheetah C100 GPS camera/radar detectors. So watch the video for a real world product test.

Oh, and for that intersection (towards the end of the video) where the cameras were not detected, well some extra protection might be a good idea.

We hope this helps those in areas implementing red light/speed cameras, and answers some of your questions. As always, contact us with any questions concerning these products.

March 9, 2009

The Great License Plate Protection Comparison Test of 2009

Here at Buy Radar Detectors we found ourselves looking at the different anti-photo plate protection products we carry, and we thought a small, informal comparison test might be needed. Well, not needed. More like we thought it would be fun to get outside on a nice spring day. So after obtaining a test vehicle we decided to see how well each product would work, and how noticeable they were.

Plan A we had to cancel. It mostly involved duct tape, the four lane freeway outside, a cheap camera equipped cell phone, and a tall tree. Wishing to avoid upsetting area commuters and for a more controlled test environment, we instead decided on a more scientific approach to our comparison test. Hereafter known as Plan B.

In our test we will be reviewing the following products:

TollFree Protector Anti-Photo License Plate Cover
Super Protector Anti-Photo License Plate Cover
Photo Blur Anti-Photo License Plate Cover
Photo Stopper Anti-Flash License Plate Spray

For testing the plate covers we used a Canon EOS Rebel XTi tripod mounted camera with a Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM SLR lens and a Canon 430EX flash. We took three pictures of each product:


  • Picture from above (camera height 7'10") - This position should provide an idea of how the plate cover would perform against a red light camera, which are typically mounted high in an intersection and angled down.

  • Picture from behind (camera height 4'3") - This position should give you an indication of how the license plate cover will appear to other drivers or police officers that are looking at your vehicle from behind.

  • Picture from the side (camera height 4'3") - This position should provide an idea of how the plate cover would perform against photo radar equipment, where the camera is typically positioned on the side of the road.


We also used the flash in every plate cover picture, as this is typical for photo enforcement equipment. For the Photo Stopper anti-flash spray, we used the same equipment (camera height 4'3") and show each angle, with and without a flash, to show the effect of the product.

For an anti-photo product to be effective it needs to achieve a delicate balance. At angles used by photo enforcement equipment, the license plate numbers should appear obscured. On the other hand, when viewed straight-on the numbers need to appear clear and legible to avoid attracting any unwanted attention.

Please Note: Actual conditions vary according to camera location, time of day, and weather conditions. This is an informal test, and subjective. Feel free to try this at home.

For Plan B we did try to have some controls in place with similar lighting, same test vehicle, same camera, and same camera location. We also used a ladder from the warehouse for the "above" test to get a better result.

TollFree Protector Anti-Photo License Plate Cover

The Toll Free Protector is advertised as offering the best protection against cameras at the cost of being more noticeable. At first glance, this appears to be the case. The shot from the side completely obscures the plate number, and when viewed straight-on it is fairly obvious there is a plate protector. The shot from the top did not turn out as well as we had hoped. The numbers seem to be obscured, but if you look very closely you can make out at least 5 of them. Is this enough to save you from a ticket?

TollFree Protector
TollFree Protector
TollFree Protector

Super Protector Anti-Photo License Plate Cover

Next, we have the Super Protector, which is typically advertised as being the best mix of effectiveness and noticeability. From above, well... you are getting a ticket. From the rear, it is far less obvious than the TollFree Protector. From the side it does partly obscure half of the numbers (which is what it is supposed to do).

Super Protector
Super Protector
Super Protector

Photo Blur Protector Anti-Photo License Plate Cover

The Photo Blur actually looks a lot like the standard "clear" bubble plate covers sold in most automotive supply stores. It is generally advertised as being the plate cover that is least likely to attract unwanted attention, as even at an angle the obscuring looks more like a glare from the sun or accidental distortion. One very important feature we liked, unlike the other two protectors it does not require a separate tag frame to hold the cover in place. With some states making plate frames a violation, this alone is interesting.

This one surprised us, from above it does partly obscure the tag numbers, enough to possibly keep from getting a ticket. It also does a good job from the side. From a straight-on view it performs as advertised, being the least noticeable of the covers we tested.

Photo Blur Protector
Photo Blur Protector
Photo Blur Protector

Bonus test!

Photo Stopper Anti-Flash License Plate Spray (With and without flash.)

Photo Stopper does a great job at making your plate look shiny! While it does slightly overexpose the picture when a flash is used, it was not enough to obscure the plate number in our setup. Perhaps the results would have been better with a stronger flash or with a license plate where the numbers are not black and raised? We're told that products like this tend to work against older equipment, but are fairly ineffective against newer technology.

Photo Stopper - Angle 1 with Flash
With Flash
Photo Stopper - Angle 1 without Flash
Without Flash
Photo Stopper - Angle 2 with Flash
With Flash
Photo Stopper - Angle 2 without Flash
Without Flash

So there you go. The one we thought would block the plate from every angle, the TollFree Protector, is not so great when the picture is taken from above (better from the side though!). And it may lead to interesting conversations with local law enforcement officers. The Super Protector worked from the side. If you want the best mix of possibly obscuring a picture of your plate while not being very obvious, the Photo Blur does a rather good job. Finally, all the PhotoStopper spray really does is make your plate look shiny and new.

In closing, one of the better ways we have seen to avoid the cameras:

Top Gear - Richard Hammond vs the speed camera round 3

March 3, 2009

More New Products from Whistler (Updated!)

We just got the scoop on two new upcoming products from Whistler that are expected to be available sometime in 2009. We don't have all of the details at this point, but thought we would share some basic specs and a few images.

Whistler RLC-100
Whistler RLC-100

Whistler RLC-100 Red Light Camera Detector
First is the new Whistler RLC-100 red light and speed camera detector. The RCL-100 compares your current GPS location with an on-board database of red light and speed camera locations and alerts you when you are near one. The MSRP is $139.95. UPDATE! 7/27 WE NOW HAVE THEM IN STOCK FOR $79.99! GET REDLIGHT CAMERA PROTECTION TODAY!

Features:


  • High Sensitivity GPS Antenna

  • Updatable Camera Database

  • Dual Alert Display

  • Current Speed Reading with Max Hold Feature

  • 100 Location Manual Entry


The RLC-100's database is updatable from the internet using the integrated USB port. You can also connect the RLC-100 to a Whistler radar detector if you use the optional interface cable (not included). You can specify MPH or KPH and a speed warning notification. The RLC-100 also has a digital clock and trip meter.

Dimensions and Weight:


  • 3.13" long x 2.13" wide x .75" height

  • 1.8 oz


Whistler Headset
Whistler BT Headset

Motorcycle Bluetooth® Headset
The second item from Whistler is a series of motorcycle Bluetooth® headsets. The BT2200 / 2300 / 3200 / 3300 headsets are designed to work with any full/flip-up/open style helmet and allow full duplex bike to bike or bike to passenger communications. Whistler has produced motorcycle-specific radar detectors in the past, but this product presents an exciting new direction. This series includes four products to cover all scenarios (bike to bike or bike to passenger, and open faced or closed faced helmets). The MSRP is $219.95 for the bike to passenger products, and $259.95 for the bike to bike products.

Features:


  • Bluetooth® 2.0 High Quality Stereo Audio

  • Noise Cancellation Microphone

  • Easy Installation

  • Full Duplex Wireless Intercom

  • Weather Proof Case


The BT2200/2300 headsets provides two channel rider to passenger communications, and the BT3200/3300 headsets provide two channel bike to bike communications. In addition, the headsets can also be used for true stereo music. Battery duration is estimated at 7-14 hours of usage. You can adjust the volume and the BT2200/2300/3200/3300 headsets also have a large mute button for easy use.
Whistler Headset
Whistler Headset

Dimensions and Weight:


  • 3.31" long x 1.75" wide x .81" height

  • 1.8 oz