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Monthly Archives: October 2012

  • Laser Veil Back In Stock!

    veil-can_l.jpgAfter over a month of back orders for Laser Veil piling up, we are happy to announce that this ever popular product is now back in stock! If you placed an order for Veil while it was out of stock, expect to see your credit card charged and your order shipped today. If you've been waiting for word that it's back in stock to place your order, order away!

  • Will driverless cars be the end of the radar detector?

    The self-driving car is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It's now a reality, and it's heading toward us fast.

    It's no secret that Google is leading the way toward this new era. They have been using automatic autos for awhile now, actively testing their fleet of prototype self-driving vehicles in select areas of the country. Earlier this year Nevada made autonomous vehicles legal by issuing the first license for a car that drives itself. California followed the lead last month when they instituted their own autonomous vehicles law. Google hopes driverless vehicles will be cruising roadways across America within five years.

    According to Google, driverless vehicles offer a lot of advantages to society as a whole. They provide a means of transportation to those who do not have a driver license or are unable to drive themselves, such as the young, elderly, handicapped or the intoxicated. Google also claims they are safer, citing an accident-free record for their vehicles after driving over 300,000 miles on their own. Google says these auto-driving autos don't run red lights.

    Apparently, neither do they speed.

    When a car is designed to automatically obey the traffic laws and set its speed accordingly, is there a need to use a radar detector, or even have one at all? Will the radar detector as we know it become obsolete?

    Now, before you put your detector up on a shelf, consider this. Unless you work on that specific project for Google, you probably don't have a self-driving vehicle, at least not yet. That is still half a decade away, and probably a lot longer for most of the general population. In the meantime, we all need to get somewhere today. As of now and in the foreseeable future, if you speed you can still get a ticket and you can't blame it on the car.

    When automatic autos do become the standard, as they inevitably are destined to be, they may still require human intervention on occasion, should something go horribly wrong. In that case, it may be wise to keep a radar detector around as a backup, especially if the human driver is not accustomed to manually operating a vehicle that never goes over the speed limit in auto mode.

    Could the radar detector become obsolete? It could. Perhaps, someday, it will. But there are still many miles to go until that day arrives, with a lot of speed traps along the way. Until the day of the automatic auto, keep your detector turned on, tuned in and watch your speed.

  • The Escort Live! bundle can save you one

    escort_live2.pngIf you're a fan of Beltronics or Escort radar detectors, no doubt you've heard about Escort Live™. You've probably heard how it can help you proactively avoid a ticket by alerting you to threats before your radar detector actually detects them. You've probably even heard about the free Escort Live! app that's available for your smartphone that can interface with some Beltronics and Escort radar detectors, giving the user more control them and even more features. If you've heard all of that, then you've probably also heard Escort Live! is regularly priced at $99.95.

    Think you've heard it all? Well, wait until you hear this.

    For a limited time, you can get an Escort Live! SmartCord or Direct Wire for only $39.95 when you bundle it with a select compatible Beltronics or Escort windshield mount radar detector! That's right, while supplies last, you can get a radar detector bundle that can save you a bundle (in more ways than one).

    What is Escort Live™? it's a double duty power and data cable that not only powers your Escort or Beltronics radar detector, it links the device to your iPhone or Android smartphone as well. It connects via Bluetooth® to an app that communicates with the Escort Live! database and over one million other drivers on the road to create what Escort calls a "real-time ticket protection network". All the connected devices share data on radar and laser alerts across the continent to allow your radar detector to detect threats proactively.

    In addition to the "heads up" alerts, the app monitors compass heading, vehicle speed and over-speed alerts and allows you to access and manage the settings on your radar detector from your smartphone. There are versions of Escort Live! available for Androids and iPhones in two models: a coiled 12V DC plug-in smartcord and an installed Direct Wire cord. For a detailed overview of Escort Live! and its features, read Escort Live! takes radar detection to the next level.

    We made it easy to purchase the special bundle offer at Buy Radar Detectors. All you need to do is choose the bundle you want from the drop-down list when you order your radar detector and the special bundle is automatically created for you. Models with the bundle offer include Beltronics Pro 300, Pro 500, STi Magnum, Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black (Blue Display), 8500 X50 Black (Red Display), Passport 9500ix, and REDLINE radar detectors.

    Note: This promotion is only valid while supplies last.

    Here is a list of qualified Beltronics and Escort radar detectors included in the Escort Live! bundle offer.

    No Bundle With Escort Live!
    $299.95 $339.90
    $399.95 $439.90
    $499.95 $539.90
    $339.95 $379.90
    $339.95 $379.90
    $499.95 $539.90
    $499.95 $539.90

  • Do radar detector apps for smartphones work?

    When it comes to radar detectors and smartphones, you generally get what you pay for. But when it comes to radar detector apps for smartphones, isn't it a much better deal, especially when the apps are free?

    Okay, wait a minute. A radar detector app for a smartphone? Yes, there's an app for that, believe it or not. In fact, there are a number of them out there, purporting to use your smartphone as a smart sensor to sniff out speed traps on one or all police radar bands.

    Curious, we wanted to investigate further. Perhaps we could download one of these smartphone apps and try it out for ourselves in our own testing facility at Buy Radar Detectors. Wouldn't that be fun, or at least enlightening?

    So we did. It was, well, interesting.

    One so-called "radar detector" app that caught our attention in the Google Play store was aptly named, of all things, Radar Detector. Coincidence? I think not. It was developed by an entity called Fizzix Corp. (funny, I just now got the pun). According to the description, this is the first app developed that turns the phone itself into a radar detector. "Forget about buying expensive equipment that requires installation," the app description states, "just open this app and go."

    This sounded rather intriguing. Turn a smartphone into a stand-alone radar detector? Could one even do this? If so, how? Inquiring minds wanted to know. Well, actually, I was looking for something interesting to blog about. But I was sure you would want to know. So there you go.

    Radar is radio technology, and smartphones do contain radio transceivers. However, radar operates on different frequencies than, say, wi-fi or Bluetooth. The chance of an app tuning a 2.4GHz wi-fi transceiver on a smartphone to pick up police radar guns seemed like a bit of a stretch, but to be fair (and for entertainment purposes) we decided to test it out anyway.

    We installed the app on my Motorola Droid X. From the moment it activated I knew this was going to be interesting, and I immediately sensed that somehow, in some way, I was going to either be taking a ride, or be taken for one. I was right - on both.

    When launched, the screen displays a simple layout with large numerical readouts for Signal Strength (dBm) and Speed (mph) in landscape mode only. A black, vertical bar on the right edge of the display that also apparently monitors signal strength bounces up or down in tandem with the numerical readout. The screen turns red when it allegedly detects a signal purportedly from an actual radar gun and the words "Radar Detected" appear in bold. There is also a small rectangular green icon in the upper left corner of the display to apparently indicate the radar detector app is on and active. Apparently is the keyword in this entire description because, save for a couple of outdated screenshots of the app in the Google Play store, there seems to be no instruction set or user guide available to explain how to use this radar detector app. The layout is simple, but you do need to understand what you are looking at when using the app, so if you aren't already familiar with the basics of radar detectors, good luck.

    The app uses the on-board GPS to calculate vehicle speed (and possibly other operations as well). According to user reviews of this app, the GPS service on the smartphone needs to be on and enabled in order for the app to function. GPS can be somewhat resource intensive and drain a smartphone battery quickly, so it is generally best to connect the phone to a vehicle DC charger when using it.

    At first, the Signal Strength display indicated some minor activity, even when placed on a desk in the middle of an office. When moved outdoors, the levels increased somewhat, fluctuating wildly and seemingly at random. Aiming it a few feet from a wi-fi router caused the levels on the readout to experience an even greater increase, fluctuating even more wildly than before. The bar indicating signal strength bounced rapidly up and down. However, after a couple of minutes, it quieted down, and the levels went back to nearly zero and stayed there, even when just two feet from the router and facing it directly.

    The next test utilized a radar gun. The first time the trigger was pulled, the screen turned red and the radar detector app went off, emitting a few short beeps. Unfortunately, that was the one and only time it happened. Subsequent tests using the radar gun at various distances and angles elicited no response from the detector at all, even when aimed at it point blank.
    Then the real test began. The Droid, with radar detector app active and prominently displayed onscreen, was placed on the windshield side-by-side with a Beltronics RX65 radar detector set to pick up nearly everything on X, K and Ka bands. During a 50 mile round trip across two states, two cities and two highways with known speed traps and other radar devices, the RX65 didn't miss a beat. It picked up radar signals on all three bands, even detecting the automatic doors from a couple of stores along the way. The Radar Detector app? Nada, as in nada thing.

    At one point, a patrol officer, apparently noticing the radar detector on my windshield, pulled up behind my vehicle and tailed me very closely for several miles, radar on. Since the vehicle was on cruise control and set to speed limit, I wasn't too worried. As soon as the patrol car approached, the Beltronics detector sounded the alert and it didn't stop until the officer backed off and exited the highway. The Radar Detector app on my Droid? It just stared back silently, with the signal strength meter at a stable or nearly stable Zero the entire time.

    Oh, yes, it did go off a couple of times during the trip, which was very odd, since it did so when there was nothing around to trigger an alert. The RX65 confirmed the road was clear, and there was not a cruiser or a building around, so what that app detected remains a mystery. Perhaps it was a UFO.

    It also went off several times while sitting around on the desk in my office, away from the road and any police radar. That should tell you something about the validity of this app to detect radar.

    To say the Radar Detector app doesn't actually work at all is a little presumptuous and is not entirely true. It does track current vehicle speed and it does so with a fair measure of accuracy (which really isn't difficult to do using GPS), although there is a bit of a delay. So it could actually be useful as a virtual speedometer, although we certainly don't recommend using it to replace the one that is factory installed in your vehicle.

    However, as a radar detector, it is less than reliable, and may not even really function as one. The developer acknowledges this as well, simply stating "This app is just for novelty purposes; do not rely on it." In other words, this app may be just something to install for your own amusement or to show around at parties or to use as a gag. It isn't, and shouldn't be used as a real one on the road.

    Of course, this isn't to say all radar detector apps are bogus. There are apps that do work, such as the Cobra iRadar and the Escort Live!. These apps are actively developed by companies that specialize in radar detection technology. However, such apps don't attempt to turn your smart phone into a virtual, stand-alone radar detector, they are intended to interface with a real one. The radar detector itself still does all the work. The apps serve only to augment the features of the specific radar detector they are designed to connect with. They aren't designed to replace the device.

    Can a smartphone be a radar detector? The question is moot. As versatile as the typical smartphone is, its core function is communication, hence the term smartphone. Whether there is an app for it or not is irrelevant; an iPhone or Droid is not designed to inherently detect police radar, much less laser, so to argue the point is rather pointless. However, it can work well as an interface, as a means to communicate with a radar detector, and in that sense the two can potentially work very well together.

    Remember, the right tool for the right job. Smartphones are communicators, radar detectors are sensors, not the other way around. Let each one do what each does best, and together they can do it all.

  • Escort Passport iQ Special!

    iQ.jpgSo you need a radar detector and a GPS navigator but you don't have room for both on the dash? Well, here's a unique solution. Passport iQ ™. It acts like a radar detector, looks like a GPS device, and does the work of both.

    The Passport iQ is an all-in-one, swiss army knife of radar detectors. It integrates the latest detection technology for all types of radar and provide 360-degree protection from laser guns. In addition to the standard features of the Escort line, it also includes a Micro SD card slot, external audio and USB support. To wit, it has built-in versatility.

    The best part of all this is that at first glance it doesn't look like a radar detector at all, but like a GPS. This clever disguise can come in very handy when you need to conceal your detector while in use. In the past, radar detectors that could be easily removed stuck out like a sore thumb on the windshield or dash, and drivers who wanted a discreet solution with a hidden detector had to sacrifice portability. With the Passport iQ, you can have the best of both. It is extremely portable and easy to carry, yet it hides in plain site while on board, disguised as a GPS. The mask it isn't deceptive, because it actually is one. You can't beat that.

    Up until now this premium combo came at a premium price, listing at $649.95. But not anymore. That is because now, for a limited time, The Escort Passport iQ is available from Buy Radar Detectors for the special price of only $499.95. For an even better deal, you also get FREE ground shipping!

    The Passport iQ is available to ship immediately from our warehouse at Buy Radar Detectors. Get yours now before this special promotion ends!

    Note: For an in-depth look at this unique radat detector, read our Escort Passport iQ Radar Detector Review.

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