A radar detector can be an effective countermeasure against police radar and traffic enforcement devices. A detector is also legal to own and use in most areas of the US, unless you are a commercial (CDL) driver, are operating a vehicle on a military base or are located in Virginia or Washington, D.C. If you drive in any of those scenarios, you can't have a radar detector. The problem is, if you own a radar detector where it is legal, but happen to commute to or travel through an area where it isn't, you could get in trouble quickly if law enforcement authorities discover one in your possession.
But is it a real risk? Can police find out if you have a radar detector?
Yes, they can! Absolutely they can, and it's easy. All they need is a radar detector detector.
What is a radar detector detector?
Simply put, a radar detector detector (RDD) is a device that detects the presence of a radar detector. These devices allow law enforcement to locate and identify vehicles in which a radar detection device has been placed or installed, and is in active operation. Many law enforcement agencies have them, especially in areas where radar detectors are restricted or not allowed.
How do radar detector detectors work?
A radar detector is a radio device, with the ability to search out and receive Super High Frequency (8.500-24.35 GHz) and Extremely High Frequency (33.4-36.0 GHz) radio waves in the radar bands used by authorities for speed and traffic enforcement. Although the detector is a receiver, it also emits or "leaks" radio frequencies (RF) of its own. All radar detectors produce these RF signals, and this leakage can be picked up by another receiver tuned to those frequencies. A radar detector detector is specifically designed to do this, and can do so from a considerable distance away.
What are the types of radar detector detectors?
There are different types of radar detector detectors. The VG-2 Interceptor was the first of its kind, and for a time, VG-2 was the standard used. It wasn't long before radar detector manufacturers designed their detectors to effectively defeat the VG-2, and nearly all detectors sold today have VG-2 protection. This rendered VG-2 ineffective. It is seldom, if ever, used by police today.
Another type of RDD is Spectre. It eventually replaced the VG-2. The Spectre I was popular with law enforcement, and quite effective, until the manufacturers of radar detectors developed a countermeasure for it as well. The Spectre I was eventually replaced by the Spectre II, and in 2004, the Spectre III. The RDD currently used in the US is the Spectre IV, or Spectre Elite.
Where are radar detector detectors used?
Police typically use RDD in areas where radar detectors are not allowed or are illegal, although some may use them in areas where detectors are allowed for use by the general public. This is done in an effort to identify commercial vehicles that are not allowed to have them.
Are some radar detectors undetectable?
All radar detectors leak, some more than others. However, some detectors have shielding and other technology in place to minimize the leakage to varying degrees. Some are undetectable within a few feet of the RDD device. These are considered adequate for stealth operation, since most RDD units will be positioned outside that range.
The stealthiest detectors avoid detection from RDDs within several inches of an RDD unit. This is especially important if the radar detector is installed in the vehicle instead of mounted on the dash, as the latter can be quickly disabled, turned off and put away if necessary, but a concealed detector is permanently mounted and usually powered on, risking discovery if the vehicle is pulled over.
Which radar detectors are undetectable?
Most radar detectors on the market today can defeat VG-2 radar detector detectors. When it comes to Spectre, however, the list narrows considerably. Since Spectre is the RDD system widely used, it is the one you need to watch for, especially if you commute, live or travel within areas where radar detectors are resticted or illegal. Fortunately we have a list of radar detectors that are undetectable. Questions? Leave a comment below, enter our chat at Buy Radar Detectors or give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 weekdays.