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Articles

  • We are an authorized Radenso dealer!

    Since the founding of the company in 2002, Buy Radar Detectors has led the way in providing quality radar detectors, accessories and service for the discerning driver at competitive prices. We constantly strive to offer quality products and services to our customers. We don't just offer everything on the web. We are particular about who we partner with and what we sell, and that's why we are excited to announce that we are now an authorized Radenso dealer!

    Radenso is quickly gaining a reputation as a respected manufacturer of high performance, quiet, and low priced radar and laser detectors with impressive range and top notch filtering. Radenso radar detectors meet or exceed the performance of other models in their class, and at a much lower price point! In fact, Radenso is so confident in their products, they offer free updates for the life of the product, plus a one year, ticket free guarantee!

    Three windshield mount radar detectors are now available, as well as a full complement of Radenso accessories for them. These models include the SP, XP and Pro M.

    Radenso SP Radar DetectorRadenso SP
    Like other detectors in its class, the Radenso SP detects X, and K, band, narrow and Ka wide band signals and police laser threats. It has a city and highway mode and can filter out traffic sensors and blind spot monitor systems from other vehicles in range. In addition to filtering, the SP is also virtually invisible to VG-2 and Spectre radar detector detectors. This is a feature not usually offered on a lower tier detector and gives the SP a step up over a lot of its competition.

    The Radenso SP features an orange-red OLED display that is easy to read, multiple threat display, dim settings, voice alerts, volume up and down buttons, a mute option, voltage display, and test mode. It has a USB port to update the firmware and these updates are free for life. How many other budget friendly radar detectors do that? Not many. Our Price: $199.00.

    Radenso XP Radar DetectorRadenso XP
    The Radenso XP has all the same detection as the SP, and more. It has the ability to filter out traffic sensors, blind spot monitor systems and collision avoidance systems, adds another City mode called CityAuto, and throws in GPS capability, including GPS lockouts for stationary false alerts. Like the SP, it also has VG-2 and Spectre invisibility. According to Radenso, it us considered one of the quietest radar detectors.

    The Radenso XP has an orange-red OLED display with 3-Digit Frequency Display and 6 display modes. It has voice alerts with 260 different messages, Low Speed GPS auto-muting, red light and speed camera alerts, and 3-Digit Frequency Display. Other features include Fully directional RLC/Speed Camera database With Free Updates, auto mute, volume up and down buttons, voltage display, test mode, and free updates for the life of the unit. Our Price: $349.00.

    Radenso Pro M Radar DetectorRadenso Pro M
    The Radenso Pro M is the top of the line, and it has the bells and whistles to prove it. It has all of the radar and laser detection of the other two models, plus MRCD, MRCT and Gatso radar bands. It has all of the filtering too, and is also invisible to VG-2 and Spectre Elite radar detector detectors. And, yes, there's more.

    In addition to GPS capability and many of the other standard features found on the XP, The Pro M has an amber colored OLED display with 7 selectable display modes. It also features voice alerts with Frequency Announcement. The firmware and pre-loaded red light/speed camera database include free lifetime updates. These are features one may expect from on a radar detector priced at $600 or more, but the Pro M undercuts them all. Our Price: $449.00.

    All three models comes with windshield suction cup mount, 12-volt DC power cord, mini-USB to USB date cable, carrying case, owner's manual. Any questions? leave us a comment below, enter our online chat or give us a call.

  • The pros and cons of cordless radar detectors

    Cutting the CordThe age of mobility brought about the concept of cord cutting, and manufacturers of radar detectors were early adopters. For a time, there was a healthy selection of cordless detectors, and it was not uncommon to find them mounted to the windshields and dashboards of many vehicles. Today, however, the number of cordless radar detectors has dwindled significantly. In fact, at the time of this article, there is only one cordless model from a major brand currently available, the Escort Solo S4.

    Does this mean cordless radar detectors are relics of the mobility age? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that the priorities of the average modern driver have possibly shifted, and their requirements may be different than they were at the beginning. When it comes to cordless radar detectors, they do have their pros and cons.

    The Pros and Cons of Cordless Radar Detectors

    Features vs. Portability
    Pro: Cordless detectors are extremely portable, easy to carry around and can be quickly moved or removed as needed. For instance, it is often advised to remove valuables from your vehicle to deter theft, and a radar detector is an attractive enticement to thieves. A corded detector needs to be disconnected from power before it can be removed. With a cordless detector, simply grab it and go. Some driver even operate their cordless detector from a shirt pocket! You can't do that with a corded detector.

    Con: Cordless detectors tend to have fewer features than corded models, or some features may be scaled back. This is often done for power considerations, because cordless detectors operate on batteries. The more features a detector has, the more power it may consume to activate and manage them. This can affect battery life.

    Power Requirements
    Pro: Cordless detectors have lower power requirement, and thus consume less power than corded detectors.

    Con: Lower power consumption means the detector has a lower range of detection. In some circumstances, range may only be one factor to consider, in others, especially on the highway, it can be the most critical to avoid a threat.

    Operability
    Pro: Cordless detectors do not need power from a vehicle and are not dependent on a vehicle to operate. This can be a considerable advantage when power options are limited or a corded option is simply not feasible.

    Con: Battery life limits operating time on longer trips. When the batteries are drained, the detector stops working, and if it happens while on the road, the driver must pull over and replace the batteries or face the risk of threats while the detector is out of operation.

    Power Save Features
    Pro: Cordless radar detectors usually have built-in power save and auto shutoff features to conserve battery life and extend operation.

    Con: The reliance on battery power requires frequent battery replacement, resulting in down time to replace batteries and higher costs to purchase new batteries.

    Accessibility
    Pro: Cordless detectors can serve as secondary units or backup detectors. Some drivers have more than one detector on the dash or windshield, but don't want too many wires in the way. A cordless detector can serve as an effective secondary unit without adding to the clutter. Also if the primary detector goes down, simply stick a cordless detector up there and turn it on, without having to stop and wire it up. It can definitely help in a pinch.

    Con: Cordless detectors generally have lower performance than corded detectors due to lower range and built-in power save options. This can also reduce their effectiveness as a replacement for a primary detector.

    Convenience
    Pro: Cordless detectors are a convenient option for temporary use in a second vehicle or rental car. If you switch vehicle often or are renting one for a day or two, a cordless detector can be setup quickly and easily without intrusion.

    Con: Few cordless models are available on the market. At this time, the only cordless radar detector on the market is the Escort Solo S4. This severely limits the choice of a cordless option.

    Versatility
    Pro: Cordless radar detectors can easily be mounted or used on motorcycles. Without the need of wiring coupled with simple mounting requirments, the cordless detector is a natural choice for use on motorcycles.

    Con: Except for the limitations already listed above, when it comes to using cordless radar detectors for motorcycles, is there a reason not to have one?

    Do you need a cordless model, or is it better to stick with the standard corded, portable, windshield mounted, detector? To make the decision easier, This handy chart lists the pros and cons of cordless radar detectors.

    Cordless Radar Detectors
    ProsCons
    Portable - easy to switch from one vehicle to anotherFewer features than a vehicle powered portable
    Low power requirementsLower power consumption means lower range
    power save optionsrequires frequent battery replacement
    Great as a secondary detector or backupLower performance due to lower range and power save options
    Great for temporary use in a second vehicle or rental carfew cordless models available
    Not dependent on a vehicle to operatebattery life limits operating time on longer trips
    Can easily be mounted or used on motorcycles

    Based on the this chart alone, one would think that the pros outnumber the cons. But, do they? The truth is, it depends on what you need in a radar detector, and how you plan to use it. If performance is imperative and portability is not important, it's probably best to go with a corded model. You'll get reliable power, greater range, and higher performance overall.

    However, if you need ultra portability, ride a motorcycle, need a backup unit or you just don't like wires hanging down your dash, then a cordless radar detector may be just the thing. Either way, it's your choice.

    For more information on cordless radar detectors, watch our Escort Solo S4 Video Review with the Veil Guy!

  • The best place to mount a radar detector

    Where to mount a radar detectorIt's the universal question, discussed frequently in forums and social media groups, and is usually the first concern after someone purchases one to install in a vehicle for the first time. Where is the best place to mount a radar detector?

    We covered this over a decade ago in our article Where Should You Mount Your Radar Detector? But times have changed. Technology has advanced, and there are new rules of the road when it comes to traffic enforcement and countermeasure strategy. Considering this, does placement even matter anymore, or do the old guidelines still apply? Where is the best place to mount a radar detector today? Or is there one?

    Why is placement important?
    Placement of a radar detector is critical to its performance. Detectors operate by line of sight, meaning that the detector needs to be able to "see" the signal in order to detect it. Any obstruction can potentially diminish, deflect or block the incoming radar signal or laser beam entirely from the detector's view. It also needs to be aimed in the general direction of the signal to pick it up. This is important if it's a radar signal, but is even more important if it is a laser beam. Radar signals are rather broad, but a laser is very narrow, so the detector must be positioned to pick it up directly. Remember, if the detector can't see the signal, it can't tell you where it is, or if one is even there. Therefore, correct positioning is vital to the performance of any detector.

    Is the type of radar detector important?
    Before we go any go further, it is important to note that the answer to the mounting question depends somewhat on the type of radar detector used. There are two distinct types of detectors, portable and installed. The portable detector, also known as a dashmount or windshield mount detector, is exactly as these terms imply. It mounts somewhere on the dashboard or windshield of a vehicle, and is aimed through the windshield, over the hood toward the front. An installed or concealed detector is one that is actually installed or integrated into parts of the vehicle itself, with sensors usually concealed below the hood and around, on or behind the front grille. Additional sensors can be placed on the rear of the vehicle as well.

    Installed detectors
    The sensors for an installed detector are usually placed somewhat low. Since they are usually situated directly at the front and (optionally) rear of the vehicle, they have a clear line of sight for a broad, unobstructed view of the perimeter around it. This allows a lot more latitude for discreet, low mounting options.

    Where to place a dashmount detector
    Portable or dash mount detectors are a different story. Since they are typically situated behind the windshield, their line of sight is somewhat limited by the frame of glass around it, plus the obvious obstruction of the front hood. However, there are other obstructions that affect performance. Tinted windshields in the visor area at the top can greatly reduce detection. The angle of the windshield can also be a factor. Inspection, parking or other stickers can get in the way. So can windshield wipers. Built-in defrosters, sensors or coatings in the glass can also effect performance. Some states even have laws to regulate where you can or cannot place items on your windshield or dashboard. These are all important factors to consider, and some may greatly limit your mounting options. Consider them all before you mount the detector.

    Go high or go low?
    Ten years ago, the low or high mounting question depended largely on the type of signals your radar detector detected. If it was primarily radar, conventional wisdom was to mount high, preferably attached to a rear view mirror or visor. This was advised so the detector could see over the hood of the vehicle to maximize line of site for detection of radar signals. If it was primarily set up for laser, the general rule of thumb was to mount low, closer to the hood, to pick up the edge or scatter from laser beams aimed at the headlights or front plate of the vehicle. But that was ten years ago. Although police laser certainly existed, it wasn't widely used, and some radar detectors had limited capabilities for laser detection. Some had no laser detection at all.

    Today, radar guns are still the standard, but use of police laser for speed enforcement is on the rise. Fortunately, all of the domestic brand radar detectors marketed in the US today are capable of both radar and laser detection and it is now quite advanced. Many detectors offer multi-angle or 360 degree detection of laser. This changes the optimal position just a bit, because the detector needs to be low enough to get the laser beam from the front, yet high enough to also catch it from the rear of the vehicle. However, the general rule still applies. Mount low for laser, and a little higher for radar detection only. If detecting both, aim for the sweet spot.

    The sweet spot
    This may vary depending on the design of your vehicle, including the length and and height of your hood. It will also depend on the other factors mentioned above. The general rule though, is to mount your detector low, either from the the windshield or dash, and if it's dash mount, try to get close to the windshield to maximize peripheral line of sight and minimize obstructions. Although low mounting will shorten radar range, it should still be acceptable, and it will significantly increase detection of laser. Also, be sure the detector is level for a straight view through the windshield, and adjust for the angle of the glass if it is mounted to it. Don't let it point upward or downward, keep it even with the road ahead.

    Any detector can only alert you to the threats it can detect. To maximize its performance and value, the best place to mount a radar detector is from a similar vantage point to that of the driver, one that gives it the clearest, least obstructed view of threats on the road.

  • Are Radar Detectors Useless in 2018?

    Radar Detector in WebRecently we came across an article on autotrader.com written by Doug DeMuro called Radar Detectors are Useless Now. The article claimed that the recent developments in driver assist technologies are generating so many false alerts that traditional radar detectors are now rendered useless.

    In addition to the false positives, DeMuro also concluded that radar detectors are becoming more expensive and are "being beaten at their own game" by cheap and readily available mobile apps such as Waze, an online app that allows millions of other users to report speed traps, traffic incidents and road hazards and share the information in real time across the web.

    According to his article, DeMuro arrived at this conclusion during a cross country road trip, during which he encountered numerous false alerts from surrounding vehicles equipped with driver assist and collision avoidance technologies such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, parking sensors and the like. With confidence in his detector quickly eroding, He began to rely on his Waze app to navigate the roads and reach his destinations. Based on these experiences encountered on his cross country excursion, DeMuro was finally convinced that the overwhelming combination of modern vehicles equipped with radar based technology, coupled with smart mobile apps powered by commmunity based alerts in real time, now renders the traditional radar detector obsolete, and, therefore, completely useless to the modern driver.

    But is this true? Are radar detectors useless in 2018?

    At first glance, DeMuro certainly does have a valid point. Technology has advanced significantly in the last decade, and there are many vehicles on the road today that utilize radar bands and frequencies capable of triggering false alerts on a radar detector not originally designed to anticipate these signals, thereby confusing both the detector and the driver.

    But there's another side to the story.

    Fortunately, and perhaps unknown DeMuro, radar detection technology has also advanced. Sure, there are a lot more radar based signals out there now, and the classic detector is increasingly challenged to discern the difference between real traffic enforcement radar, and something else. But while this is true of much older detectors, and even more so those with few filtering features or no filtering at all, the latest detectors are designed and built with these new radar enabled technologies specifically in mind. Most of the newer radar detectors available today are smart countermeasure devices and are programmed to seek out, isolate and eliminate these false signals from the mix.

    Which detector was DeMuro using? We don't know, because he didn't tell us. Of course, there is the photo that accompanies the article. It is an image of a radar detector mounted on the windshield of a vehicle. The detector in the photo is an Escort Passport 8500 X50, an older, long discontinued model that was manufactured before driver assist technologies were added to the mainstream. The 8500 was a very sensitive device, yet was also equipped with advanced filtering capabilities to eliminate false alerts from many sources.

    But the Escort Passport 8500 X50 is long past its prime. It's an old, outdated model. While it was once one of the most solid, high performance detectors in its time, it was certainly not built to handle the advanced radar based technologies used on vehicles today. Interestingly, the author did not specify the make or model of the radar detector he used during his trip, which seems somewhat telling, and a little unfair. If this was indeed the detector he used, no wonder he received so many false alerts!

    As for price, after adjusting for inflation, the cost of the average radar detector today is roughly the same as a comparable model in the same tier almost a decade ago. Yet these devices now have newer technologies with more features, functionality and performance than their older counterparts. For example, The Escort Passport 8500 X50 was priced at $299. The Escort X80 has many of the same original features, adds advanced filtering and false signal rejection capabilities, plus compatibility with the Escort Live™ app, and is the same price. In other words, today's detectors are smarter and more powerful at about the same price point. This translates to higher performance and greater value.

    But what about the Waze app? Is it the end of the radar detector as we know it?

    Ah yes, mobile apps. They've also come a long way, and there is certainly a lot to be said for them. We first wrote about such apps in 2012, when we tested one called- wait for it- Radar Detector. We tested it thoroughly and published our results in the aptly titled Do radar detector apps for smartphones work? To summarize the article, it didn't.

    Since then, of course, apps have become much smarter. Apps such as Waze utilize the power of social community based reporting and the Internet to monitor and report on everything from traffic incidents to road hazards and, obviously, speed enforcement activities in real time, more or less. There are many advantages to using such apps, and many drivers now opt to use them.

    However, these apps come with hazards of their own. Some of them are well documented in the local, national and even international press. We won't go into detail here, but an online search will find numerous cases of miscalculations and mishaps due to the over reliance solely on the app.

    In spite of the hazards, mobile apps are still powerful and potentially effective countermeasures against traffic enforcement radar. Considering this, do they make radar detectors useless and obsolete? Absolutely not. On the contrary, mobile apps can enhance the capabilities of radar detectors, and the detectors, in turn, can enhance the capabilities of these apps.

    Manufacturers of radar detectors know this, which is why many detectors have either an app or updateable database option available for direct or indirect access on the web. For instance, Escort offers Escort Live!™, and Cobra has iRadar. These aren't merely stand-alone apps, although they sometimes can be used as one. They are designed to work in tandem with the detectors they support. These mobile apps, when combined with a traditional, physical radar detector, provide a networked, super smart detection system for a more complete, high tech solution to the challenges of filtering out the new smart vehicle technologies while navigating traffic enforcement on the modern road.

    Given the facts, all the facts, are radar detectors useless in 2018? Of course not. In fact, based on the facts provided, and the fact that the article didn't mention what radar detector the author used, the available facts only seem to lead to one logical conclusion.

    Mr. DeMuro needs to buy a new radar detector.

  • Why are radar detectors illegal in Virginia?

    As of October 2018, radar detectors are legal for use in each of the United States except one (Washington D.C. is not a state). That state is the commonwealth of Virginia. Recently a reader of our blog asked, why are radar detectors illegal in Virginia? While it may seem like an innocently nescient query to some, and a purposefully rhetorical statement to others, it is a genuinely perplexing one, especially considering the fact that, out of all fifty states, Virginia is the sole hold-out, and seemingly rather defiantly so.

    As for why the law exists, the general argument is that radar detectors encourage drivers to break traffic enforcement laws, particularly in regards to speeding. However, according to opponents of the law, the ban on radar detectors does nothing to prevent speeding, and can actually make the problem worse. They contend the law is archaic, and is unfair to those who live in surrounding states where radar detectors are allowed and travel or commute over the border with the device in their possession. Also, Virginia uses other methods for speed enforcement that a radar detector cannot detect anyway, so the presence of one in those cases has no effect at all, and therefore does nothing to circumvent the law. Yet this logic seems all but lost on the majority of Virginia lawmakers.

    The law banning radar detectors in Virginia has yet to be repealed, but it's not for lack of trying. In 2010, The Virginia House of Delegates voted down HB674, a bill to repeal the ban on radar detectors introduced by Delegate Joe May(R) - House District 33, who argued that the law was unfriendly to travelers through the state. In January 2015, Del. Dave LaRock [R] introduced House Bill No. 2079, "A BILL to repeal §46.2-1079 of the Code of Virginia". On January 28, the Virginia House of Delegates voted to table the bill, and on February 11, 2015, passed the buck to the Virginia House Transportation Committee, where it was "Left in Transportation", and is still sitting as of the date of this article.

    Why are radar detectors illegal in Virginia, still? At the end of the day, it is a question that only the lawmakers of Virginia can answer, because it's their law. Whether it is by the will of the people of Virginia or just its delegates remains unclear, but nevertheless, as draconian as it seems, and until further notice, it is still their law.

  • Escort Sticky Cup vs. the standard windshield bracket

    Escort Sticky Cup Mount.jpgXLT radar detector mounting bracket.jpg
    Escort fairly recently changed the type of suction cup that they ship with some of their higher end radar detectors. What was once a small, traditional metal bracket with two suction cups is now a larger bracket with a single large, prominent, Sticky Cup. The Escort Max, Max2 and the new Beltronics GT-7 all include this new Sticky Cup.

    The Sticky Cup is more than just a windshield mount with a super sized suction cup. It is literally sticky, hence the name "Sticky Cup". The cup itself has a sort of sticky, gummy surface on the suction side, presumably to help it grab the windshield glass better.

    And grab the glass it does. Once the paper backing is removed from the sticky area and the cup is placed in the desired position, it's a simple matter of closing the locking clamp to create the suction in the cup and seal it tight to the windshield.

    Not surprisingly, the Sticky Cup can handle the weight of the premium Escort and Beltronics detectors. Since the suction cup itself is considerably larger and "stickier" than the small, clear cups included with the standard metal windshield bracket, that is certainly to be expected. It is also quite adjustable. There is a large knob on the side of the bracket allows you to rotate the bracket on the mount to position the radar detector at the desired angle.

    The Sticky Cup does seem to have a lot to offer in comparison to the old, standard radar detector mount, and at first glance one would think it is far superior in every way. However, it does have some drawbacks, a few which may put the plain, two cup mount back into consideration.

    Consider this.

    The Escort Sticky Cup is large. It is also a solid, completely opaque black. this makes the Sticky Cup a lot more noticeable. Some may consider the Sticky Cup a little too big to be discreet at all. The standard metal brackets are small, and the dual suction cups are clear or translucent. This type of bracket is not as noticeable on a windshield as the Sticky Cup.

    The Sticky Cup is one single cup. Unlike the standard mounts, which typically have two suction cups, the Escort Sticky Cup is completely on its own. Why is it something to consider? Well, consider this. Any suction cup can lose suction from time to time. It just happens. If it happens to a two cup mount, there is a chance they may go one at a time, which gives you time to catch it first and instantly re-mount it before everything falls down.

    However, when the Sticky Cup goes, there is nothing to hold it back. You can't count on the sticky surface of the cup to delay it. The stickiness just isn't sticky enough to counter the weight. When it falls, It just falls, and everything, the cup, the mount and the detector, falls with it. You simply won't have time to react.

    Adjusting the Sticky Cup is easy, but it is somewhat limited. The big plastic knob is certainly better for adjusting the angle of your radar detector. Simply loosen the knob, tilt the detector, and tighten the know again. There is one limitation. It adjusts in steps. They are very small steps, to be sure, but they are still set increments.

    In contrast, the standard metal windshield mount can easily and instantly be bent to the degree desired, without loosening or tightening something in the process. Simply bend the mount exactly to the angle you want, and let go. You're done.

    Removal of the Sticky Cup can take longer than the removal of a standard two cup mount. Taking the Sticky Cup off a windshield is a two step process. First, the locking clamp must be released, which can be a bit cumbersome to get to if the radar detector is mounted at an angle that obstructs your access to the clamp and if you have big fingers. After the clamp is unlocked, you must pull the tab at the rim of the cup to release the suction and remove the mount.

    To release a standard two cup mount, simply grab the edges of the cups with your fingers and lift them from the surface of the windshield. With a little practice, this can be accomplished in one deft move. Such speed may be necessary if, say, you are pulled over in a jurisdiction where radar detectors are illegal (Virginia and Washington, D.C.) and you quickly want to hide it away from view.

    The Sticky Cup is sticky. It can be seen as an advantage over a regular two cup mount, but it can also be a disadvantage. Sticky surfaces tend to pick up dirt, dust and other artifacts very easily, which can severely limit or completely hinder the ability of the cup to stick to anything at all. According to the instructions, the Sticky Cup can be rinsed under warm water to clean it off, but care must be taken to keep the dirt at a minimum.

    The standard two cup detector mount, on the other hand, can be cleaned with a simple wipe down, if needed. Since the little cups on these mounts are usually smooth and not sticky, in most cases, a cleaning it isn't even needed.

    The Sticky Cup costs more. the Escort Sticky Cup mount sells for $29.95. While it's not the most expensive mount on the market, it is a premium, to be sure.

    The Bel Pro / Escort Windshield Mounting Bracket is about half that price, at $14.95.

    The best deal of all is the XLT Brand Windshield Mounting Bracket for Beltronics / Escort Radar Detectors. it includes a second pair of suction cups as part of the package. Plus, it comes with free shipping. This one is a real bargain. It's only $6.99.

    If you want a premium mount for your Escort or Beltronics radar detector that supports it, and you don't mind the caveats, then the Escort Sticky Cup may be the mount for you. Before you choose, consider it from every angle, not just the one posted for the product. We want you to be satisfied with your purchase.

  • Tinted windows and radar detectors

    The performance of a windshield mounted radar detector depends on a several factors, aside from the features and limitations of the detector itself. The detector needs to be configured properly, installed in the right location on the windshield, and mounted at the just right angle for optimal pickup of both radar signals and laser beams. There is one more factor to consider. It is a key consideration of your entire radar defense system that is often overlooked, but is very important, because it can severely hinder performance of any radar detector, low or high end, no matter how good it may be.

    It's your windshield.

    If your windshield is tinted, as most are these days, it will likely affect the ability of your radar detector to detect radar or laser. Some tinted windows use polymer or ceramic films, coatings or dyes. Other tinted windows, particularly those installed in some luxury vehicles, use a tint containing metals. Radar does not penetrate metal well, and if your radar detector cannot pick it up from the other side of the glass, you won't get an alert.

    In addition, since the primary purpose of window tinting is to shield against the sun and other bright light, it can also reduce the intensity of a laser beam as it penetrates the glass. This can negatively affect the ability of your detector to detect a police laser threat.

    The scope of the problem depends on the type of tinting you have, of course, and the area it covers. If only the top portion of the glass is tinted, you're in luck, all you need to do is reposition the detector below the tinted area. However, if your windshield is fully tinted, beware. You may have a problem.

    If you purchase a radar detector and it doesn't seem to work or perform to your expectations, check your installation before you return it or toss it in the trash. It may not be an issue with your detector at all, it could be your windows.

  • My radar detector doesn't work

    It's a given that all radar detectors are not created equal. Some are more sensitive than others, and the more expensive, higher end models tend to have many more features and functions along with an expected increase in overall performance. Of course, there are always exceptions, and there is a sweet spot between cost and performance, which can ultimately reveal a radar detector that provides the best overall value.

    Some folks who buy radar detectors, particularly those who are new to the whole detection thing and purchase one for the very first time, rely on branding, features, price, or reputation alone. They set their expectations based solely on their familiarity with a manufacturer's name, product marketing hype, how many bells and whistles it may have, how much it costs, or the personal or professional recommendation of someone they know or trust.

    Unfortunately, some of them are quick to return the detector or toss it in the trash if it doesn't meet or exceed their expectations or perform as they think it should. These users immediately put the blame squarely on the radar detector itself, and may even lose faith in the entire brand. Yes, a thirty dollar radar detector may not be the best countermeasure on the road, but a $400 model? Surely it must be defective, right?

    Wrong.

    True, some detectors are better than others, and there are even some devices that are DC powered junk. However, there are other factors that determine the value and performance of a radar detector, most of which have little or absolutely nothing to do with the choice of detector itself. In fact, many performance issues can be alleviated or resolved without a replacement, repair or upgrade.

    Proper installation and placement
    Where you mount your detector has a much greater impact on performance than the detector itself. Placement also depends on whether you intend to use it more for radar or laser (lidar) detection. place it in the "sweet spot" and your economy model may serve you well. Mount it anywhere else and your premium priced model may not detect much at all.

    Understand the limitations
    Radar is line-of-sight, so all radar detectors will have that limitation of detection. Don't expect your radar detector to pick up a radar gun that isn't aimed in your general direction or isn't even turned on. Also, laser is much faster than radar and no radar detector on the market can detect a laser beam until it has already been hit, which means you've already been clocked. For a more effective defense against laser threats, an additional countermeasure such as Veil G5 is needed. Although it won't prevent a ping, it will slow down the process, giving your detector time to alert you before you're clocked, and usually giving you a little time to react after you get the alert.

    In addition, there are other methods of traffic enforcement that don't involve radar or lasers at all, such as VASCAR. Your device simply can't detect them. You can't blame the detector for that.

    Learn the features
    Learn what the features are and how they work. Some manufactures re-label certain features with trademarked titles or names, but it doesn't necessarily mean they do the same thing any better. It's just a label. Learn what these functions really are and what they do and don't do. What is the difference between K, Ka and Ku detection, and why is that important to know? What is VG-2 detection? What is POP mode? What is TSR? Learn about these features before you use the radar detector for the first time. Read The Manual. Do it first. This is important for proper configuration of the detector.

    Proper configuration
    Once you know the features, you need to properly configure the device. Often a radar detector doesn't do its job simply because it wasn't configured well, or configured at all. Adjust settings accordingly for city and highway use. Filter out unwanted alerts from locations known for false signals, such as nearby retail locations and buildings with automatic doors. Set up visual and voice alerts or mute them as needed. Proper setup and configuration will optimize your detector for best performance.

    Proper operation
    Your detector can't alert you if the alerts are disabled or the device isn't even on. That's certainly not the detector's fault.

    Upgrades and maintenance
    An old detector with an outdated database or firmware won't help much against the latest radar and laser threats. A new detector that isn't updated or maintained well won't make it much better.

    There's a lot more to using a radar detector than just turning it on. It is important to understand how it works. Proper placement of the detector is key, and a thorough understanding of its features, limitations and general operation is also important. Yes, it is easy to bash, trash or return your detector to the dealer, but before you cast it to the curb, be sure it's due to a malfunction and not a misconception. It may not be what you think.

  • What is the best value radar detector?

    Radar detectors are not created equal. Some makes and models perform better than others and some have more or better features. Of course, higher end features and performance across all brands usually commands a higher price. The old saying that you get what you pay for is generally true. However, there is a difference between what a radar detector has inside the box, how it is used, and what its ratio of value to performance is actually worth. Just because a radar detector can do it, doesn't mean that it does it better for what it costs. This is why it is important not to choose your radar detector based only on features, performance or price, but in the right the combination of all three. It's called value.

    There are many radar and laser detectors on the market. They range from very basic, dashboard models below fifty dollars to fully loaded, installed systems for a couple of thousand. You can find comparisons between brands and models all over the web, along with plenty of reviews, talking about which models are the worst, which are the best, and how they are all priced. But which one delivers the most return on the investment? Which radar detector is the overall best value for the cost?

    Given all the criteria, there is a detector that stands out from the rest. Actually, there are two, and both are made by Whistler.

    CR85.jpgThe first model is the Whistler CR85. This is one of Whistler's higher end radar detectors and has most of the features Whistler offers in its entire line. What really sets the CR85 apart from Whistler's other models is the antenna. It has a different antenna that is more sensitive, thus improving overall detection range. Considering this performance enhancement, feature for feature, the CR85 is comparable to the Beltronics Pro 300 and the Escort 8500 X50 Black, both full-featured, well-liked detectors that perform well on the road, but for about $300 each. The Whistler CR85 can offer equivalent performance with equivalent features for about half the price.

    CR90.jpgThe second model, and a prime example of real value, is the Whistler CR90. It adds GPS to the mix, which takes it up a notch to compete with the Beltronics Pro 500. While the GPS enabled features of the Pro 500 are considerably enhanced when used with Escort Live!, the database in the CR90 is also updatable, albeit manually, which keeps this detector on par with the Pro 500, and, like the CR85, at about half the price of its counterpart from Beltronics.

    Obviously, when comparing dash mount units, nothing beats a top-of-the-line radar detector such as the Escort Passport 9500ix, Passport Max or a Valentine One. In a features to performance ratio, these are the cream of the crop. They also have the price tags to match. If you need or want the very best detection and cost is not an issue, a high end radar detector will certainly pay for itself in the long run. However, if you are on a budget and want a detector that has the highest ratio of features to performance for the price, The Whistler CR85 and CR90 hit the sweet spot for value.

  • 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 ModelNew Model
    Beltronics Vector 940 Radar DetectorBeltronics Vector 940Beltronics Pro 100 Radar DetectorBeltronics Pro 100
    Beltronics Vector 955 Radar DetectorBeltronics Vector 955Beltronics Pro 200 Radar DetectorBeltronics Pro 200
    Beltronics RX65 Radar Detector (Red Display)Beltronics RX65Beltronics Pro 300 Radar DetectorBeltronics Pro 300
    Beltronics GX65 Radar DetectorBeltronics GX65Beltronics Pro 500 Radar DetectorBeltronics Pro 500
    Beltronics STi Driver Radar DetectorBeltronics STi DriverBeltronics STi Magnum Radar DetectorBeltronics STi Magnum
    Beltronics STi-R Concealed Radar DetectorBeltronics STiRBeltronics STiR Plus Digital Radar Laser Safety DetectorBeltronics STiR Plus
    Cobra XRS 9345 Radar DetectorCobra XRS 9345Cobra XRS 9370 Radar DetectorCobra 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 DetectorEscort Solo S2
    Cordless
    Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar/Laser DetectorEscort Solo S3
    Cordless
    Escort Passport 9500i Radar Detector (Red Display)Escort Passport 9500i
    (Red Display)
    Escort Passport 9500ix Radar DetectorEscort Passport 9500ix
    Escort Passport 9500i Radar Detector (Blue DisplayEscort Passport 9500i
    (Blue Display)
    Escort Passport 9500ix Radar DetectorEscort Passport 9500ix
    Escort Passport Qi45 Radar DetectorEscort Passport Qi45Escort Passport 8500ci Radar DetectorEscort Passport 8500ci
    Escort Passport Qi45 Radar DetectorEscort Passport Qi45Escort Passport 8500ci Plus Custom Installed Radar DetectorEscort Passport 8500ci Plus
    Whistler XTR-265 Radar DetectorWhistler XTR-265Whistler CR65 Radar DetectorWhistler CR65
    Whistler XTR-335 Radar DetectorWhistler XTR-335Whistler CR70 Radar DetectorWhistler CR70
    Whistler XTR-555 Radar DetectorWhistler XTR-555Whistler CR75 Radar DetectorWhistler CR75
    Whistler Pro 68 SE Radar DetectorWhistler Pro 68 SEWhistler CR80 Radar DetectorWhistler CR80
    Whistler Pro 78 SE Radar DetectorWhistler Pro 78 SEWhistler CR85 Radar DetectorWhistler CR85
    Whistler XTR-690 Radar DetectorWhistler XTR-690Whistler CR85 Radar DetectorWhistler CR85
    Whistler XTR-695 SE Radar DetectorWhistler XTR-695 SEWhistler CR85 Radar DetectorWhistler CR85
    Whistler Pro 3450 Radar DetectorWhistler Pro 3450
    Remote
    Whistler Pro 3600 Remote Radar DetectorWhistler Pro 3600
    Remote

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