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Monthly Archives: June 2014

  • Upgrading your radar detector

    Every few years or so, manufacturers of name brand radar and laser detectors update their product lines and introduce new models with new or enhanced features to keep up with changing tools and tactics used by speed and traffic enforcers. Recent advancements in radar and laser detection technology have prompted many drivers to consider upgrading to improve the detection and response time to traffic enforcement threats. If your radar detector is more than three years old, chances are it is time for a new one.

    Tossing your favorite radar detector for something new may not be a comfortable idea. You may want to upgrade the performance of your detector without trading out some of its best features. You don't want to have to spend a lot of time learning your way around a new menu of settings and options on a new device, either.

    Fortunately, most radar detector manufacturers simply upgrade their product lines rather than performing a complete makeover. If you are upgrading to a new version of the same brand and series of detector, the learning curve, if there is one, is minimal. Even if you are moving from one brand to another, migration is usually rather painless. You merely need to do a little comparison shopping to match the features of your old detector to the equivalent features of the new one.

    If you are not still sure about upgrading your radar detector, we can help. Buy Radar Detectors created this Radar Detector Upgrade Chart to help you move up to the latest and greatest without fear and loathing. All you need to do is locate your old detector on the left side of chart and its most logical successor will be directly across from it on the right. It's that simple.

    Radar Detector Upgrade Path
    Old Model New Model
    Beltronics Vector 940 Radar Detector Beltronics Vector 940 Beltronics Pro 100 Radar Detector Beltronics Pro 100
    Beltronics Vector 955 Radar Detector Beltronics Vector 955 Beltronics Pro 200 Radar Detector Beltronics Pro 200
    Beltronics RX65 Radar Detector (Red Display) Beltronics RX65 Beltronics Pro 300 Radar Detector Beltronics Pro 300
    Beltronics GX65 Radar Detector Beltronics GX65 Beltronics Pro 500 Radar Detector Beltronics Pro 500
    Beltronics STi Driver Radar Detector Beltronics STi Driver Beltronics STi Magnum Radar Detector Beltronics STi Magnum
    Beltronics STi-R Concealed Radar Detector Beltronics STiR Beltronics STiR Plus Digital Radar Laser Safety Detector Beltronics STiR Plus
    Cobra XRS 9345 Radar Detector Cobra XRS 9345 Cobra XRS 9370 Radar Detector Cobra XRS 9370
    Escort Passport 8500 X50 (Red Display) Escort Passport 8500 X50
    (Red Display)
    Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black Radar Detector (Red Display) Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black
    (Red Display)
    Escort Passport 8500 X50 (Blue Display) Escort Passport 8500 X50
    (Blue Display)
    Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black Radar Detector (Blue Display) Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black
    (Blue Display)
    Escort Solo S2 Cordless Radar/Laser Detector Escort Solo S2
    Cordless
    Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar/Laser Detector Escort Solo S3
    Cordless
    Escort Passport 9500i Radar Detector (Red Display) Escort Passport 9500i
    (Red Display)
    Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector Escort Passport 9500ix
    Escort Passport 9500i Radar Detector (Blue Display Escort Passport 9500i
    (Blue Display)
    Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector Escort Passport 9500ix
    Escort Passport Qi45 Radar Detector Escort Passport Qi45 Escort Passport 8500ci Radar Detector Escort Passport 8500ci
    Escort Passport Qi45 Radar Detector Escort Passport Qi45 Escort Passport 8500ci Plus Custom Installed Radar Detector Escort Passport 8500ci Plus
    Whistler XTR-265 Radar Detector Whistler XTR-265 Whistler CR65 Radar Detector Whistler CR65
    Whistler XTR-335 Radar Detector Whistler XTR-335 Whistler CR70 Radar Detector Whistler CR70
    Whistler XTR-555 Radar Detector Whistler XTR-555 Whistler CR75 Radar Detector Whistler CR75
    Whistler Pro 68 SE Radar Detector Whistler Pro 68 SE Whistler CR80 Radar Detector Whistler CR80
    Whistler Pro 78 SE Radar Detector Whistler Pro 78 SE Whistler CR85 Radar Detector Whistler CR85
    Whistler XTR-690 Radar Detector Whistler XTR-690 Whistler CR85 Radar Detector Whistler CR85
    Whistler XTR-695 SE Radar Detector Whistler XTR-695 SE Whistler CR85 Radar Detector Whistler CR85
    Whistler Pro 3450 Radar Detector Whistler Pro 3450
    Remote
    Whistler Pro 3600 Remote Radar Detector Whistler Pro 3600
    Remote
  • Matching a radar detector with a CB radio

    Radar detectors and CB radios have been used together for decades as a more complete countermeasure to traffic and speed enforcement on the road. Before radar detectors were outlawed on commercial vehicles, truckers relied on both devices extensively during hauls, and in those days it was indeed rare to sit in the cab of a typical rig and find one without the other.

    These days such a radar detector and CB radio combo is more important than ever. Technologies such as aerial surveillance, VASCAR and mobile speed cameras are becoming more frequently used, and these methods of traffic enforcement are making it more difficult, if not impossible, to rely on the typical radar detector alone to alert drivers to their presence. in such situations, your best (and sometimes only) defense is the ability to instantly obtain or communicate warnings and alerts with other drivers around you.

    Commercial truck drivers may no longer have a radar or laser detector on their dash, and they must rely on radio contact with fellow drivers and their own instincts for alerts. However, the typical non-commercial vehicle can have both, giving the drivers of these vehicles an important advantage.

    There is no doubt having both a radar detector and CB radio in your vehicle can keep you informed of the latest threats on the road. But some radar detectors seem to perform better than others. Is this also true of CB radios? If so, which ones work the best together? Is there a winning combination, or does it really matter?

    There is no argument that some radar detectors perform better than others, and some have specific features that some drivers want or need more than others. The same is true with CB radios. Some lower end radios have basic features and functions, while higher-end models offer additional capabilities such as Bluetooth™ connectivity and NOAA weather channels, which can keep you informed of emergency weather conditions when you are on the open road. The type of antenna used with the radio can also make a difference. In addition, CB radios come in many different sizes and styles. Matching the right radar detector to the right CB radio is a personal choice. It depends on your budget, your needs, and your personal taste.

    To help you find the best of both, Buy Radar Detectors created this handy chart with many possible combinations. Simply choose a radar detector on the left and a CB radio on the right and you are bound to find the perfect match made just for you.

    Radar Detector - Match a radar detector
    with a CB radio -
    CB Radio
    Beltronics Pro 100 Radar Detector Beltronics Pro 100 Cobra 19DX IV CB Radio Cobra 19DX IV
    Beltronics Pro 200 Radar Detector Beltronics Pro 200 Cobra HH 38 WX ST CB Radio Cobra HH 38 WX ST
    Beltronics Pro 300 Radar Detector Beltronics Pro 300 Cobra 18WX STII CB Radio Cobra 18WX STII
    Beltronics Pro 500 Radar Detector Beltronics Pro 500 Cobra HH-Roadtrip CB Radio Cobra HH-Roadtrip
    Beltronics STi Magnum Radar Detector Beltronics STi Magnum Cobra 25 LTD Classic CB Radio Cobra 25 LTD Classic
    Beltronics STiR Plus Digital Radar Laser Safety Detector Beltronics STiR Plus Cobra 75 WX ST Compact/Remote Mount CB Radio Cobra 75 WX ST
    Cobra XRS 9370 Radar Detector Cobra XRS 9370 Cobra 25 LX LCD Special Edition CB Radio with 4 Color Display Cobra 25 LX LCD SE
    Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black Radar Detector (Red Display) Escort Passport 8500 X50
    (Red Display)
    Cobra 29-LTD-CHR Chrome Special Edition CB Radio Cobra 29-LTD-CHR
    Chrome SE
    Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black Radar Detector (Blue Display) Escort Passport 8500 X50
    (Blue Display)
    Cobra 29-LX-CHR-LE Chrome Limited Edition CB Radio Cobra 29-LX-CHR-LE
    Chrome SE
    Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar/Laser Detector Escort Solo S3
    Cordless
    Cobra 29 LX LCD CB Radio Cobra 29 LX LCD
    Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector Escort Passport 9500ix Cobra 148 GTL SSB CB Radio Cobra 148 GTL SSB
    Escort Passport iQ Radar/Laser Detector Escort Passport iQ Cobra 29 LX BT LCD CB Radio With Bluetooth Cobra 29 LX BT LCD
    With Bluetooth
    Escort Redline Radar Detector Escort Passport Redline Cobra 29-LTD-BT CB Radio with Bluetooth Wireless Technology Cobra 29-LTD-BT
    With Bluetooth
    Escort Passport Max Radar Detector Escort Passport Max Cobra 29 WX NW ST CB Radio Cobra 29 WX NW ST
    Escort Passport 8500ci Radar Detector Escort Passport 8500ci Galaxy DX 929 CB Radio Galaxy DX 929
    Escort Passport 8500ci Plus Custom Installed Radar Detector Escort Passport 8500ci Plus Galaxy DX 949 SSB CB Radio Galaxy DX 949 SSB
    Valentine One Radar Detector Valentine One Galaxy DX 959 SSB CB Radio Galaxy DX 959 SSB
    Whistler CR65 Radar Detector Whistler CR65 Uniden PRO510XL CB Radio Uniden PRO510XL
    Whistler CR70 Radar Detector Whistler CR70 Uniden PRO520XL CB Radio Uniden PRO520XL
    Whistler CR75 Radar Detector Whistler CR75 Uniden Bearcat PC687 CB Radio Uniden Bearcat PC687
    Whistler CR80 Radar Detector Whistler CR80 Uniden PC68LTW CB Radio Uniden PC68LTW
    Whistler CR85 Radar Detector Whistler CR85 Uniden Bearcat 680 CB Radio with Ergonomic Pistol Grip Mic Uniden Bearcat 680
    Whistler CR90 Radar Detector w/ GPS Alerts Whistler CR90
    w/GPS Alerts
    Uniden Bearcat PC787 CB Radio Uniden Bearcat PC787
    Whistler Cruisader Motorcycle Radar Detector Whistler Cruisader Uniden Bearcat 880 CB Radio with 7 Color Display Backlighting Uniden Bearcat 880
    Whistler Pro 3600 Remote Radar Detector Whistler Pro 3600
    Remote
    Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB CB Radio with 7 Color Display Uniden Bearcat 980
    SSB
  • How to defeat VASCAR

    The use of VASCAR in speed enforcement is nothing new, but still popular, presumably due to the increasing number of vehicles equipped with radar and laser detectors. Since VASCAR is based on visual observation and does not incorporate the use of radar or laser guns, it cannot be detected with a radar detector. The use of additional detection enhancement technologies such as Escort Live! and other national "real-time" traffic threat databases may help alert drivers to possible VASCAR zones proactively in some situations, but if VASCAR is used in a mobile scenario, even those "detection" methods likely won't work. VASCAR is, in effect, undetectable.

    How do you defeat VASCAR? Simply put, you can't. However, if you know its limitations, and with the help of fellow travelers, you can defend yourself against it.

    Before you try to defend against a VASCAR threat, you need to know what VASCAR is and how it works. To simplify the system, markers are placed on or near the road at a measured distance apart. When a vehicle passes the first marker, the officer starts a timer. When the vehicle passes the last marker, the officer stops the timer. The time it took for the vehicle to pass the distance between the markers is calculated to determine its average speed.

    There are some definite advantages that make VASCAR an attractive option for speed enforcement agencies. Unlike measures such as radar and laser, VASCAR allows officers to stay some distance from the road or even above it, providing more concealment, thus ensuring an element of undetected surveillance and surprise.

    However, there are also considerable disadvantages to VASCAR. Whether on the ground or in the air, VASCAR relies on favorable conditions for sighting the target vehicle, which means that, although it can be used at night, it isn't practical for use under inclement weather conditions that can severely limit visibility, such as heavy rain or fog. In addition, an accurate measurement largely depends on the visual acuity and motor skills of the individual officer operating the VASCAR device and "clocking" each vehicle. If the reaction time of the officer is inconsistent when the vehicle passes each marker, the calculated speed of the vehicle can be inaccurate.

    Also, the officer must observe the vehicle as it traverses the distance between the markers. This means only a single vehicle is clocked at a time. If traffic is very heavy or other vehicles are obscuring the view of the target vehicle, the accuracy of visual observation is affected. While these disadvantages may not necessarily prevent a ticket, they may make it easier to contest it, if the driver understands them and can prove one or more of those conditions existed at the time he or she was "clocked".

    Beating a VASCAR ticket isn't guaranteed, of course, and your chances will depend a lot on the circumstances and how prepared you are to fight it. However, you can still utilize countermeasures that can minimize your chances of getting one in the first place. When it comes to VASCAR, your best countermeasure is your own sensory perception. More specifically, it is your ability to pick up visual cues and to listen and communicate with the other drivers around you.

    • Watch for signs that VASCAR may be in use. Yes, we're talking about literal signs. Some jurisdictions actually post signs warning motorists that speed is checked by VASCAR. If it is a nice, clear day and you pass a sign warning you that speed is monitored by aircraft, don't assume it's a fake. Some states actually rely on aircraft surveillance a lot. Take the hint, and drive with caution.
    • Watch for anything that could serve as a VASCAR marker. Sometimes various roadside items are used as markers such as reflectors, bridges, and light posts, but more often you will encounter sections of road with lines, boxes or other markings painted on the road or near the edges of it. These are obvious signs, as Rod Serling could have said, that you are about to enter The VASCAR Zone (he probably never said it, but he could have).
    • Watch for other vehicles pacing you. Don't be paranoid about it, but if you're being followed and the other driver seems to be checking your speed, it could be an unmarked patrol car clocking you.
    • Drop your speed before you hit the markers. VASCAR results are based on your average speed calculated between the markers, not your highest or lowest speed reached while in the Zone. Once you pass the first marker, it's too late.
    • Look up. Don't take you're eyes off the road unnecessarily, of course, but when you are scanning the road and the traffic around you (presumably while also watching the road ahead), don't forget to check above, as well. You won't always hear a plane or chopper when you are inside your vehicle, especially with the windows up, so a visual check may be necessary. If you see one, it could be from the local radio station doing their traffic reports. Then again, maybe not. Just saying.
    • Consider adding Escort Live! to your detection system. It isn't a full countermeasure against VASCAR, but in some situations it can help alert you to areas where VASCAR may be in use, and the possibility of a warning is better than no warning at all.
    • Add a CB radio to your radar and laser detection system. When it comes to staying alert to possible threats of any kind, communication is key. The ability to listen to chatter from other drivers and communicate with them can keep you "in the loop" on traffic conditions and traffic enforcement threats, especially those beyond your immediate view. In other words, "heads up" warnings and alerts from other drivers have long been a reliable and important countermeasure against traffic enforcement threats, and when it comes to an undetectable system such as VASCAR, it may be the only one that keeps you from getting nailed. No, not every other driver has a CB radio, but millions do, and your chances of getting a VASCAR alert over your CB radio are a lot better if you have one - a radio, that is. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and they are legal to own and operate. It is a small investment for something that may help when your radar detector or other detection tools won't.
    • Keep your CB radio on and listen to truckers. No one knows the roads like a trucker. They aren't perfect, but they sit a lot higher on the highway than most of the rest of us do, and from their vantage point they can often see things the rest of us can't. They may be able to catch a glimpse of the trooper on top of an approaching overpass or that VASCAR plane over your head when you can't. And since they can't legally have radar detectors in their rigs, they tend to keep each other up to speed on possible threats, and chances are they are watching for things you aren't. Keep your CB radio on, listen in and pay attention to alerts. When you are on the lookout for VASCAR and other hidden threats, a trucker can be your best friend.

    VASCAR may be undetectable to your radar detector, and you may not be able to completely defeat it, but there are ways to minimize the threat of a ticket. Read the signs, watch for markers, pay attention to what is happening on the road around you and expand your detection system with additional tools such as Escort Live! and a CB radio to share alerts and communicate with other drivers. These are all countermeasures that, when utilized collectively, can help you get through The VASCAR Zone unscathed. However, there is no one detection device that will do it all for you. When you enter the VASCAR Zone, the best countermeasure is you.

  • What is VASCAR?

    Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder or VASCAR is a type of system used to determine the speed of a moving vehicle. Developed in the mid-1960's, VASCAR has been used by many traffic enforcement agencies as an alternative to radar and laser guns to avoid detection by radar detectors and catch speeders.

    The concept of VASCAR is relatively simple. Visual markers are placed on or near a roadway and spaced a specific distance apart from one another. Using a computer and/or stopwatch, an officer "clocks" a vehicle crossing the marker zone from the moment it passes the first marker to the moment it passes the last. Using the formula Speed = Distance/Time the officer can calculate the speed of the vehicle based on the time it took that vehicle to travel the distance between the markers.

    VASCAR can be used by traffic enforcement officers while they are moving or while parked, and there are several methods used for each scenario. When in motion, the officer can clock a vehicle while following it, when approaching it from the opposite direction or when the vehicle is following the officer from behind. When stationary, the officer can either be parked adjacent to the road, or at an angle, at ground level or from above the road, such as on an overpass. Some states, such as Florida and Iowa, often use aircraft for VASCAR, or a combination of both ground and air assets.

    While not new, VASCAR is still actively used. It is commonly used by traffic enforcement agencies as an alternative to radar and laser in order to avoid detection by radar detectors. In some states, it is the preferred system for speed enforcement. If you travel in or across these areas, you need to be informed about VASCAR and alert to its possible use.

    To learn more about VASCAR, download this Analysis of VASCAR from the U.S.Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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