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Monthly Archives: April 2013

  • The Whistler Pro 68 SE Radar Detector video

    If you want one of the best budget radar detectors around for under $100, you may like this video overview of the Whistler Pro 68 SE. All of our Whistler radar detectors are available to ship from our warehouse at Buy Radar Detectors. Presented by Danny Feemster.

  • The Whistler Pro 78 SE Radar Detector video

    If you want one of the best budget-friendly radar detectors around for less then $200, take a look at the Whistler Pro 78 SE. All of our Whistler radar detectors are available to ship from our warehouse at Buy Radar Detectors. Presented by Danny Feemster.

  • The Cobra XRS 9970G radar detector video

    If you want a radar/laser detector with a built-in camera warning system, take a look at this video overview of the Cobra XRS 9970G. This and other Cobra radar detectors are available to ship from our warehouse at Buy Radar Detectors. Presented by Danny Feemster.

  • Beltronics Pro 500 Review

    pro_500.jpgBeltronics promised their most advanced line of Radar/LaserSafety detectors when they launched their next generation Pro Series. The Vector 940, Vector 955 and RX65 were all given a makeover to become the Pro100, Pro200, and Pro300 in the new Professional Series line. But there is one more model, billed as the top-of-the-line in this series, a full-featured radar detector with all the bells and whistles of the other models combined, plus one or two features of its own. It's the Beltronics Pro 500.

    The Pro 500 is essentially an old Beltronics GX65 re-packaged in a new rubberized shell for an easier grip and an even easier look. It looks new, yet the layout is nearly identical to the older model. The buttons are all there and in the same places. The VOL/MUTE, PWR, REW/CITY and CHG/BRT and QuickMount buttons are all exactly where they were on the GX65, and exactly where they should be on a Beltronics radar detector.

    pro_500_2.jpgAs for the display, it hasn't changed much either, although now it is "ultra-bright" instead of just "high intensity". Whether that really means anything or not is moot. The important thing is that it lights up when you need it. It's a 280 LED, alphanumeric multiple threat display with four brightness settings (one more setting than the Pro 300) plus Dark Mode, with four display options - SpeedAlert™, BarGraph, ThreatDisplay™ and TechDisplay™. The display is visible from almost any angle except the rear, so if it's on, not in dark mode and still isn't visible, turn it around because it's probably facing the wrong way.

    Aside from minor cosmetics, outside the Pro 500 looks about the same as its predecessor. Inside it's not much different. Of course it has all the standard features: full radar detection on X, K, Superwide Ka bands, instant-on (Pulse) detection and POP mode. AutoScan™, Auto Memory Retention, VG-2 Undetectability, Selectable Bands, Over 60 Digital Voice Messages, Detailed SWS™ Alerts, Vehicle Voltage Monitor, Auto and Manual Muting, and Fully Adjustable Audio Levels, all standard issue on the GX65.

    pro_500_3.jpgThere are some differences, however. The Pro 500 adds a TSR Filter to reject highway traffic sensors on X and Y bands. The GX65 had 3 City Modes and a Highway Mode to adjust filtering of false alerts. The Pro 500 improves on this concept with an Auto mode that automatically adjusts filtering based on the speed of your vehicle. How does it do this? It utilizes another major feature that was standard on the GX65 - GPS.

    The GX65 was GPS enabled, incorporated into several features, such as a Mark Location Alert Database, anti-falsing database, Speed Check, and a built-in database of all of the known locations of speed and red light cameras within the United States. The Pro 500 not only includes these features, it enhances them with the aforementioned Auto Mode for speed based sensitivity and full compatibility with Escort Live!™, Escort's data cable/power cord combination that adds another dimension to radar/laser/camera detection on its own. Escort Live! is an optional add-on for the Pro 500 as either a plug-in SmartCord or installed Direct Wire at Buy Radar Detectors.

    pro_500_4.jpgEven without the Escort Live! Real-Time Ticket Protection, the Pro 500 can still utilize its internal safety camera database, which can be updated manually between trips. Thanks to its built-in USB data port, you can connect the Pro 500 to a computer and update the built-in red light and speed camera database and other software online.

    The Pro 500 may have the heart and soul of an old GX65, but the retouches and tweaks, plus Escort Live! compatibility give it a personality and place of its own as the top-of-the-line in the new and improved Beltronics Pro Series of radar detectors.

  • Driving under the speed limit? You may want a radar detector

    Recently a Maryland woman was ticketed for not speeding on Interstate 95. The offense? She was doing 63 in a 65mph zone in the left lane.

    The officer cited her for failing to keep right while driving two miles below the speed limit. Two miles. The woman, who said she was forced to slow down because of windy conditions on the road, was stunned. She filed a complaint. The response from Maryland police? Take it to court.

    While there is no question that driving within the speed limit is certainly lawful, and the woman should not have received a ticket for following the law, the issue wasn't really about that at all. The real issue is that she was doing it in the left lane.

    Now, this is certainly a topic that can spark heated debate, and usually does. On the one hand, the left lane is considered the passing lane, while the right lane is for slower traffic. Drivers going under the speed limit are required to use the right lane and allow faster traffic to pass them on the left. There is also a minimum speed that must be maintained while driving on a highway. In Maryland, driving in the left lane is allowed as long as the driver is not blocking the flow of traffic or going 10mph under the posted speed limit. If other drivers are moving faster and want to pass, Those going slower should move to the right.

    However, there is another side to the argument as well, just as legal and valid. The passing lane is for passing slower traffic at the posted speed limit. It is not a license for speeding. Passing slower vehicles is fine, as long as you are not exceeding the limit yourself. If you exceed the speed limit to pass another vehicle, you are breaking the law. In the case of the driver in Maryand, she was only two miles per hour under the the posted speed limit while in the left lane, which is well within the 10 mile per hour margin required by Maryland to lawfully drive on the left. In other words, although she was in the passing lane, technically she was still within the law.

    By issuing the citation, the officer sent a clear message to this driver: if you're not speeding, you may get a ticket. Yes, as strange as it may sound, it seems that these days you can be penalized for breaking the law, or you can be penalized for keeping it.

    This is why it is important to know when you are being watched.

    I have been told by critics of radar detectors that these devices only encourage drivers to break the law and enable them to speed. While there are lead-footed drivers who do buy radar detectors to evade speed traps, that isn't the only reason to have one. It isn't why I have a radar detector. I have a better reason to own one. I want to know who is watching me, how they are watching, when they are watching and where they are.

    Public safety, traffic enforcement, call it what you will. It's still monitoring and surveillance, and that bothers me. Sure, we need good law enforcement to protect the public, and I have no problem with a marked patrol car on the road or at the side of it in plain view, to deter crime and provide the assurance of protection to law abiding citizens.

    But secretly scanning me with radar, lasers and infra-red cameras without my knowledge is just a little uncomfortable. It's too big brother. I want to know what they are doing and why. Radar/laser detectors and traffic camera detectors are useful because they keep me alert to such activities and help me watch who is watching me.

    Am I overreacting? Am I being too paranoid? With the prospect of using drones on our own citizens, is my concern about traffic surveillance over the top?

    Before you answer my questions, ask the woman in Maryland what she thinks. After all, she was trying to obey the law, and she still got a ticket. If she had a radar detector in her vehicle, is it possible she would have been alerted that she was being watched so she could either match the speed limit or move into the right lane in time and avoid a citation? Perhaps, perhaps not. At least she would know she was being watched.

    As a law-abiding citizen, wouldn't you want to be alerted to a potential problem before it occurs so you can take steps to correct it and stay within the law?

    This is why it is important to know when you are being watched.

  • Is the Escort Live! SmartCord compatible with older radar detectors?

    The Escort SmartCord Live! adds another dimension to newer compatible Escort radar detectors. This compatibility list, although somewhat exclusive, includes a few Beltronics models as well. The Beltronics Pro 300, Pro 500 and STi Magnum are the three models on the official list. But what about older models? After all, the Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black is essentially a tweaked version of the Passport 8500 X50, which is an update of the original Passport 8500. Likewise, the Beltronics Pro 300 is basically a redressed and updated Beltronics RX65. Wouldn't Escort Live! work with them as well?

    Not necessarily. According to Escort, older versions of these classic detectors may or may not be compatible with Escort Live! The official answer from Escort: it depends.

    The problem is, the public doesn't know what specific factors determine compatibility. Escort doesn't say. What the company does tell us is that some older Escort 8500 and Beltronics RX65 radar detectors may be compatible with Escort Live! and others may not. Compatibility is determined on a case by case basis.

    What does this mean for users of the Beltronics RX65 and the older Escort Passport 8500 X50? The solution is simple. If you own an Escort PASSPORT 8500 X50 purchased before 2008 or if you own a Beltronics RX65, please call Buy Radar Detectors Toll Free at 1-800-584-1445 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm ET to determine compatibility of your model with the Escort Live! SmartCord.

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