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  • The Escort iXc radar detector is an iX with WiFi

    Escort iXc Radar DetectorWhen Escort first introduced the iX radar detector, it was an update of its classic, top-of-the-line Passport 9500iX. The iX added more power, some new features and a fresh, new body to match. Escort has now replaced this model with the iXc, improving on the iX with better range, more precise filtering, and automatic in-vehicle updates. It also introduces a new feature that completely sets it apart from its predecessor. The Escort iXc radar detector is an iX with built-in WiFi.

    The Escort iXc has all the features of the iX, including Digital Signal Processing (DSP), GPS functionality, Bluetooth® connectivity, AutoLearn, the multi-color OLED display, and, well, the whole package. To reiterate, it is an iX in nearly all respects, so going over its entire feature set would be redundant, to say the least. So, lets cut to the chase and talk about what's new and different with the iXc.

    Escort iXc Radar Detector Right SIdeWiFi
    The key difference between the Escort iX and iXc is the addition of WiFi. It's built right into the unit. This enables the iXc to connect directly to the WiFi of a Connected Car for automatic updates and crowd sourced alerts via the Escort Defender Database in real time. If you have a Connected Car, this is a big feature, as it allows the iXc to fully integrate with the internet communications and network system of your vehicle without a wired installation.

    Of course, if you don't have a Connected Car, you can still take advantage of all the other powerful features in the iX by connecting it directly to your Android or iOS smartphone via Bluetooth®. This will allow you to interface with the Escort Live App on your phone for real time access to location based traffic and speed enforcement alerts. The iXc is also equipped with a USB port so you can manually update the unit as needed.

    Escort iXc Radar Detector Left SideImproved IVT Filtering
    In-Vehicle Technology (IVT) filtering is a feature included with higher end Escort Radar Detectors that filters out false alerts created by unwanted RF signals emitted from surrounding vehicles equipped with driver assist technologies such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and collision avoidance systems. While not a new feature, Escort tweaked their IVT filtering for the IXc to improve and expand its filtering capabilities to Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) systems.

    Greater Band Segmentation
    The iX featured Ka band segmentation. The iXc adds band segmentation on K band and has more incremental adjustments on the Ka band. This greater band segmentation allows for better filtering and greater accuracy in the detection of police radar.

    These upgrades give the Escort iXc a status of its own in the iX series, and certainly earns its branding as an Escort Radar Detector. It's somewhat on par with the MAX 360C, which is also equipped with Wifi, but considerably lower priced, coming in at $449.95. That is certainly something to consider. If you have a Connected Car, or even if you don't, the Escort iXc is a radar detector worth consideration for drivers on the modern, technology driven road.

  • What is radar detector BSM filtering?

    The advances in vehicle safety technology throughout the last decade are changing the rules of the road for drivers. One area that is feeling significant impact is in traffic and speed enforcement detection, or more specifically, the modern radar detector. As a result, newer detectors often include a feature called BSM filtering. But what is BSM filtering? How does it work, and why is it important to radar detection?

    Blind Spot Monitoring, or BSM, is a type of technology installed on many newer vehicles that can detect and monitor other vehicles around it, such those approaching from the side and rear. When a vehicle approaches, the BSM system alerts the driver of its presence, usually using an alarm or light installed on the side mirror. This is especially useful if a driver is attempting to change lanes or turn into a lane occupied by another vehicle that cannot be seen because it is in the driver's "blind spot", hence the term Blind Spot Monitor.

    Some BSM systems consist of cameras, some use radar technology, and some use a combination of both. It is the radar system that is of particular importance, because those frequencies can be picked up by radar detectors and trigger false alerts.

    Originally installed on higher priced and luxury vehicles, BSM systems are now becoming standard options on many makes and models across the auto industry. Not surprisingly, the prevalence of BSM equipped vehicles on the road can both confuse and frustrate drivers who use radar detectors with a constant bombardment of false alerts. Worse yet, the driver may think the detector is malfunctioning and, out of frustration, simply turn it off altogether, increasing the risk of missing a real alert and getting a ticket.

    Fortunately, technology is also on the side of the detector equipped driver. Many newer radar detectors on the market today now include a BSM filter. Also referred to as a Field Disturbance Rejection (FDSR) Filter on Whistler radar detectors, the feature is specifically designed to filter out and eliminate false alerts generated by vehicles equipped with radar frequency emitters such as those used for blind spot monitoring systems.

    While BSM filters are not uncommon, some radar detectors, particularly budget models, do not have this feature. If it's an older model, it probably doesn't have BSM filtering, either. If you are using such a device, you may want to consider an upgrade to a radar detector with BSM filtering.

  • The Differences between the Uniden R7 and R3

    Uniden R7 vs. Uniden R3Not long ago, Uniden reclaimed its reputation as a respected manufacturer of quality radar detectors with its DFR series and then reinforced it with the introduction of the Uniden R3. Recently, Uniden introduced the R7, an attractive detector packed with powerful features and high performance at a premium price. While both the R3 and R7 have many similarities, there are some important differences that put the Uniden R7 in a higher tier.

    The key differences between the Uniden R7 and the R3
    The R7 improves on the R3 primarily by adding a second antenna, a larger display, and directional arrows for the radar signal. It also offers wider scanning on K band plus a few tweaks that add to the overall experience of owning a high end radar detector. It also costs $200 more. If you already own an R3 and want to move up or you are shopping for your first radar detector and considering an R7, is it worth the extra money? Here are the key differences between the Uniden R7 and Uniden R3 that may help you decide which radar detector is the one for you.

    Dual Antennas
    The Uniden R3 has one front facing antenna. The Uniden R7 has two, one for the front, and a second for the rear. Like the Valentine One and the Escort Max 360, the Uniden R7 uses its rear antenna to find out from which direction the signal is coming. If you've driven with a radar detector before, you know the confusion that comes when receiving an alert, but not being able to quickly identify the source. For example, is there a police officer somewhere behind you, or is it a false alert from the car in the lane next to you? Knowing which direction of the radar source is a huge advantage, and is a big reason to choose the R7.

    As an added bonus, the second antenna also improves performance or range of the antenna, particularly from the rear. In some situations, this added sensitivity could make all the difference between getting an alert, and getting a ticket.

    Directional Arrows
    One major difference that puts the R7 above the R3 is the addition of directional arrows on the R7 display. The directional arrows are the most exciting new feature of the R7. When you get an alert, an arrow will display on the screen to show you if it is coming from ahead, behind or from the side. But there's more.

    The R7 allows you to customize the color of the arrows. You can also color code each arrow displayed by band for instant band Identification, using your choice of seven colors. For instance, you can set the R7 to display a red arrow for K band, a blue arrow for Ka band, and a yellow arrow for X band. If that isn't cool enough, an arrow can be displayed for up to three additional alerts. It's another feature that could point to the R7 as the radar detector of choice.

    Improved Display
    To accommodate the directional arrows, Uniden significantly improved the display. The OLED display on the R7 is much larger than the R3. It's shifted to the left side of the detector, and angled toward the driver's side of the vehicle. Like the R3, the display of the R7 is full color, bright, and easy to read, even in sunlight.

    Another difference is the color palette. The Uniden R3 has a six color display, which includes blue (default), amber, green, pink, grey, and red. The R7 has eight colors, which include red (default), white, violet, blue, amber, green, pink and grey.

    For even greater flexibility, the R7 has an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen when driving during the day or at night. In contrast, the R3 also has an automatic dim feature but it is GPS based by the time of day and is therefore not quite as accurate, since sunrise and sunset vary by location and time of year, and it does not compensate for lighting differences due to changes in the weather. This is another difference between the two models and one in which the R7 shines.

    Greater Sensitivity
    Both the R3 and R7 have great sensitivity, with advanced customizable filtering. However, with the added rear antenna, the R7 has a slight edge over the R3 with sensitivity or range. In addition, the R7 is reported to have a slightly wider scan range on K band than the R3, increasing its ability to pick up frequencies on that band. While not a major improvement, it does provide another reason to choose the R7 if cost is not an issue and you're on the fence about which model to buy.

    Improved Ergonomic Design
    Another difference between the R3 and R7 is the location of the controls, and in particular, the Mute/Dim and Mark buttons. On the R3, these buttons are located on the front of the unit, just under the left side of the display. On the R7, they are moved to the left side of the detector, behind the display. If you are used to having a mute button on the front or top of the detector, this can be a bit awkward, but if you've never used a radar detector before, it may not be something that cramps your style.

    The Power cable is on the left side on the R3 and on the right side of the R7. For most drivers, this location may be more desirable, as it keeps the cable from dangling down on your side of the dash. If so, the R7 may be the one to connect.

    Signal Strength Meter
    Both models have a signal strength meter with frequency Identification, but with one difference. The R3 displays the strength of a signal with five levels, and the R7 has eight. It's not a big deal, but definitely worth noting.

    Of course, there's more to these models than radar direction detection. Both units are equipped with GPS for red light camera notification, advanced customizable filtering, and ugradeable firmware. They are also designed to be undetectable by the Spectre Elite radar detector detector.

    The only other difference between the Uniden R7 and R3 is what comes with the detector in the package. Both models include a large, single suction cup mount, standard two suction cup mount, a coiled power cord with alert light and USB port, a USB cable for GPS and firmware updates, hook and loop mounting tape, and a zippered storage case. The R7 also includes a neoprene carrying case, and its power cord has a mute button.

    Considering the differences as well as the similarities, is the Uniden R7 worth the price? If you already have an R3, is it worth the upgrade? It's a personal choice, of course, since both models have a lot to offer. Which ever you choose, you can be confident that you'll have a solid performing Uniden radar detector as your companion on the road.

  • Are red light cameras unethical?

    Red Light Camera InstallationFew traffic enforcement schemes raise the ire of the modern driver more than electronic ticketing. These systems take several forms, including speed enforcement, toll booth cameras, and the like. One type of ticketing system considered particularly annoying to many drivers, and perhaps even downright dangerous, may also be the most unethical. It's the red light camera.

    The traffic light is crucial to safety at an intersection. It is designed to keep the flow of traffic moving in multiple directions in a regimented and organized way. Of course, the effectiveness of this device depends on the full compliance by every driver to obey traffic light signals, without exception. Go on green, slow and prepare to stop on yellow, and come to a full stop on red. It's a simple concept for drivers to understand and follow, and for most part the system works very well.

    The downside to this system is that it relies on the willingness of every driver to follow the rules completely. The truth is, drivers are not machines, they are human, and being human, they do not always follow the rules. If one person does not obey the traffic light signals, particularly when the light turns red, the results can be more than just disruptive, they can be deadly.

    For this reason, there are laws to ensure compliance by all drivers, and law enforcement agencies invoke tickets, fines and other penalties to deter those drivers who violate them.

    Unfortunately, things happen, sometimes intended, sometimes not, and a driver may run a red light, placing that individual and everyone else around at risk.

    Enter the red light camera. Cameras are placed at an intersection to monitor red light runners and catch them in the act, recording their moving violation for ticketing electronically by mail.

    At the outset, the concept of the red light camera is a logical one, an almost foolproof, technologically advanced solution to purportedly save lives. In fact, studies have shown that in many cases, red light camera ticketing systems reduced the number of front and side collisions at intersections by as much as thirty percent! Certainly there is no downside to that!

    But like every coin, there is another side to the story. In addition to tickets, red light cameras also generate ticket revenue, a lot of revenue. Red light camera systems bring in millions to the companies that operate them, and contribute serious cash to city coffers and municipalities that allow them to be installed.

    On the surface, that doesn't seem like such a bad deal. Enforce the traffic laws, save lives, and profit in the process. It's a win-win, right?

    Well, not exactly. In many situations, it's more like a win-lose.

    For one, The companies that install and operate these devices are not law enforcement agencies, nor are they DOT engineers. Yet, it seems that the contracts with these companies allow them to have a lot of latitude in the decisions as to where and how these red light cameras are installed and used.

    One would think that these red light cameras would be placed at the intersections which need them the most to deter violators and increase traffic safety. Some of these intersections are not always high traffic areas, they are simply more dangerous and prone to accidents caused by red light runners.

    Instead, more often than not, the cameras wind up installed at the busiest intersections rather than the most dangerous ones, with the placement simply based on the volume of traffic at an intersection, nothing more. Such arbitrary placement raises the suspicion and argument that red light cameras exist to raise revenue, not promote safety, especially when they are installed in cash strapped communities.

    Another issue is the yellow light. The yellow light was initially created as a safety feature of the conventional traffic light system. It exists to warn drivers that the light is about to turn red, allowing the drivers time to prepare for a safe stop.

    But that's not its application at many intersections where red light cameras are installed. To increase the likelihood of catching, or to more accurately put it, ensnaring red light runners on camera, the yellow light is often shortened considerably, sometimes to only one or two seconds, giving the driver little to no preparation at all to safely stop in time. Some drivers have even reported the complete absence of the yellow light, increasing the chances of causing an unintentional violation, an accident, or both.

    And there's more. Other studies have shown that while red light cameras reduce the number of front and side collisions, the number of rear-end collisions actually increase by roughly the same margins, thereby offsetting the reduction of the others. Sometimes known as the bumper car effect, these collisions occur when drivers suddenly slam on their brakes to avoid an instantaneous red light camera trap and get rear ended by one or more vehicles behind them who were also caught by surprise. It is a rather common occurrence and supports the argument that the red light cameras themselves are a safety hazard. It is also a detail often glossed over or omitted from studies performed that favor these devices.

    That's not all. These red light cameras are supposed to catch violators who blow through an intersection after the light turns red. Unfortunately, they are often set up so that drivers who are already in the intersection lawfully when the light changes may be caught and ticketed as well. This can often occur if a driver is stuck in an intersection while waiting to make a left hand turn and oncoming traffic is heavy or the driver yields to pedestrians in the crosswalk towards which the vehicle is turning.

    In addition, the sensors for these red light cameras are often calibrated to detect a vehicle that may cross the stop line at an intersection or overshoot it a little. In this scenario, the vehicle certainly comes to a full stop and doesn't run the light. The driver may have merely misjudged the line, or perhaps overshot it a little bit if the light changed to red without ample warning and forced a sudden stop. In this case, the driver would clearly be attempting to obey the law, but gets ticketed anyway.

    These red light cameras have also been known to catch and ticket drivers who makes a right hand turn at a stoplight, at intersections where it is perfectly lawful to do so. Getting a ticket for obeying the law doesn't exactly generate the warm fuzzies for red light cameras, or for the entities that run them.

    It doesn't help when a red light camera is set up in such a way that it captures the driver of the vehicle that allegedly commits the violation, but tickets the owner of said vehicle and holds that individual liable. The driver and owner are not always one and the same, yet the system doesn't seem to care. This certainly isn't fair, and adds more ammo to the argument that red light cameras do not exist to promulgate safety, prevent accidents or punish transgressors, but simply to produce profit, and as much as possible, any way they can.

    It added points on your license? You weren't at the wheel? Too bad. Sorry for you. It doesn't matter who gets the ticket, as long as it brings in the revenue.

    Of course, these electronic tickets generated from red light cameras can be contested in traffic court. Many are, and often successfully so. However, the tickets are usually priced strategically at a threshold, not to deter red light running, but to maximize the odds that the unlucky recipients will decide to simply pay the ticket instead of disputing it. After all, taking a day off to go to court, especially if it's not in your immediate area, is a hassle. And if you live in another city or another state, it may cost more to make the trip to the courthouse than the ticket is worth.

    The red light camera companies know this. The cities that cater to them know this too. They're not just aware of it. They may even be counting on it.

    The dark alliance between these red light camera companies and the municipalities that patronize them is a troubling one, especially considering some of the practices involved in the installation and operation of these devices in many areas of the country. For municipalities blinded by dollar signs, the lure of easy revenue under the pretense of public safety is difficult to resist. For red light camera companies, their past performance and ethics - or lack of them - clearly indicate it's all about the money.

    Many drivers are exasperated with the red light camera systems, and some are just fed up. They view them as revenue streams for governments while increasing risks on roads. Many consider red light camera systems unethical, and even downright dangerous. Many view them as accidents waiting to happen.

    Fortunately, a few states are listening to drivers, and are addressing the issue of red light cameras by enacting some restrictions on their use, or passing legislation to ban them altogether.

    One state that paved the way was Mississippi. In 2009, the state passed a law to remove existing red light cameras and outlaw the installation of any new ones. Arizona said goodbye to red light cameras the following year. Several other states also banned red light cameras, and many more passed laws to restrict their use to certain locations, jurisdictions or situations.

    The latest state to join the caravan is Texas. In June 2019, Texas banned the use of red light cameras. It also plans to remove existing systems already installed across the state at the end of their contracts. Here is a list of states that currently ban red light cameras.

    Although some states now have laws on the books that prohibit or limit the use of red light cameras, there are many more states that either embrace these devices, or have no laws on their use at all.

    If you live in or visit an area equipped with red light cameras, be mindful when driving through intersections on those roads. Here are a few quick tips to make it past a red light camera lawfully, safely, and avoid a ticket:

    • Be careful when approaching such intersections.
    • Provide as much distance between you and the vehicle ahead as is reasonably possible.
    • Be prepared to stop with little to no warning.
    • Avoid sitting in the middle of an intersection while waiting to make a left hand turn.
    • Don't pull out into an intersection to turn if the light is changing.
    • Avoid leaning past the stop line when stopping at an intersection with a red light.
    • Also, be extremely careful when making a right turn on red. It may be legal, but it may not stop you from getting an electronic ticket anyway.

    Many drivers are particularly anxious about intersections equipped with red light cameras, and try to avoid them altogether when possible. Some intersections have them, others don't, so one may be able to plan a route with a minimum number red light cameras on the way, and in some areas it may be possible change your route to avoid them altogether. This is where a radar detector can help.

    Many radar detectors available today feature red light camera detection. These detectors are usually equipped with a database of all known locations and intersections where red light cameras are installed or actively in use. Here is a list of current radar detectors with red light and speed camera detection.

    There are also products available that offer a countermeasure for red light and speed camera systems. They can be an economical and somewhat effective type of camera defense, however they may or may not be legal in some states. Check the state license plate laws for your jurisdiction before you invest in one of these countermeasures.

    What do you think? Are red light cameras safety devices, or safety hazards? Are red light cameras unethical? Leave your comments below.

  • States that ban red light cameras

    Surveillance CamerasAmong electronic ticketing systems now in use across the US, The red light camera is perhaps the most controversial. It is the bane of many a driver, and can cause considerable anxiety on the road.

    Many state allow red light cameras, and some are quite happy with the revenue they generate. Fortunately for drivers in some states, red light cameras are restricted or outright banned. The latest state to ban red light cameras is Texas.

    In June 2019, the governor of Texas passed a law banning red light cameras in his state. Red light camera systems currently in place will be removed at the end of their contracts.

    Currently eleven states prohibit the use of red light cameras.

    • Arkansas
    • Maine
    • Mississippi
    • Montana
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • South Carolina
    • Texas
    • West Virginia
    • Wisconsin

    Several other states limit their use to certain types of roadways, locations or conditions. Arkansas prohibits the use of red light cameras except in school zone and railroad crossings with an officer present. Nevada prohibits them except when hand held by a law enforcement officer in a law enforcement facility or vehicle.

    If you live in one of the states listed above, no worries. If your state is not on the list, consider buying a radar detector with red light camera detection. Many modern detectors have them. Even if you don't speed, a radar detector can help you navigate and possibly avoid other potential road hazards such as red light cameras at intersections. Here is a list of radar detectors equipped with red light camera detection.

  • Radar detectors with red light camera detection

    Radar Detector with Red Light Camera DetectionRed light cameras are the bane of many drivers, and can make some of them quite anxious. This can be especially stressful when traveling through an unfamiliar area where red light camera systems may be installed, but not advertised.

    Is that device above the traffic light or on top of the post at the next intersection a DOT traffic monitor? Or is it a red light camera, waiting to flash your photo for a ticket as you pass?

    There are so many different sensors and tech gadgets attached to poles and installed around streets these days, Sometimes it is difficult to tell. Until you get that ticket in the mail, you won't know for sure, and then it's too late.

    But it doesn't have to be that way. There is tech available to help you defend against red light and speed cameras. There is also a device that can help you get ahead of the curve, or the intersection, so to speak. You may already have one, but if you don't it's a good time to get one. It's a radar detector with red light camera detection.

    Here is a list of radar detectors currently available Buy Radar Detectors in 2019 that can detect and/or alert you to threats from intersections equipped with red light camera systems.

    Radar Detectors with Traffic Camera Detection
    Brand Model Detects Speed Camera Detects Red Light Camera Built-in Database
    DSP 9200BT
    Escort Redline EX
    Redline iX
    MAX 360c
    Radenso XP
    Pro M
    Uniden DFR9
  • Can police find out if you have a radar detector?

    Hiding a Radar DetectorA 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.

  • Which radar detectors are undetectable by police in 2019?

    Radar detectors are designed to hear and identify frequencies emitted from police radar guns. They also emit frequencies of their own, and can be detected by radar detector detectors (RDD). All radar detectors emit "stray" RF signals, but some are built with shielding to reduce or practically eliminate leakage. These are the radar detectors you want to use if detectability is a concern. The question is, which radar detectors are undetectable by police radar detector detectors?

    It's a valid question, because it can be a little confusing. There are different RDD devices in use with varying degrees of sensitivity. One type of RDD is VG-2. It is no longer widely used and can be defeated somewhat easily by many of the detectors available today. Another type of RDD is Spectre. The latest version, known as Spectre Elite, is rather effective at detecting radar detectors, and from a relatively short distance away.

    There are a number of radar detectors available on the market with various levels of undetectability. Some are undetectable from VG-2, Spectre, or both within a reasonable distance. A few are considered stealth, which means they are almost completely undetectable, depending on the position of the detector and the police RDD around it. A very few are considered fully stealth, meaning the detector is undetectable at almost any distance from any position or direction at all.

    The chart below lists radar detectors currently available from Buy Radar Detectors in 2019 for use in situations where RDD undetectability or stealth is desired.

    Stealth and Undetectable Radar Detectors
    Brand Model VG-2 Spectre Undetectability
    SPX 5300 ★★★
    Escort Redline EX ★★★★★
    Radenso SP ★★★
    XP ★★★★
    Pro M ★★★★
    Uniden DFR1 ★★★
    R1 ★★★★
    R3 ★★★★
    R7 ★★★★
  • State License Plate Laws

    License Plate CoverLicense plate frames can be a fun and creative way to decorate or customize your vehicle and add that personal touch. If you're searching for a solution to those pesky red light and speed cameras, an anti-photo license plate cover could be exactly what you need. However, before you pick out a frame or cover, check the local statutes in your area. There may or may not be some restrictions, depending on the laws in your state.

    It is especially important to be mindful of the laws and regulations in each individual state governing license plates when traveling, as they can vary greatly from one state to the next. A license plate frame or cover allowed in your state may be restricted or even illegal in another. If you commute between two states or plan to take a cross-country trip, what was perfectly legal or permitted in your state could get you into trouble once you cross the state line.

    The chart below lists US laws, statutes and regulations regarding the use of license plate covers, frames and shields by state.

    Note: The information contained in this chart was based on information provided by Cruiser Accessories in 2018 and is made available for general informational purposes only. Please refer to the proper authority in your state for the most current and complete laws and regulations regarding the use of license plate covers and frames.

    License Plate Laws by State
    State Plate Shields Plate Frames Visibility Comments
    Alabama Yes Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    "Alabama" must be clearly visible at top of plate
    Alaska Yes Yes Must be visible at all times
    Arizona Yes Yes Must be clearly
    legible and visible
    "Arizona" must be clearly visible at top of plate
    Arkansas Yes Yes Must be
    clearly legible
    Covers that make the license plate difficult to read
    or reduces its reflective properties
    are prohibited
    California NO Yes Must be
    clearly visible
    Red light/speed camera license plate covers
    are also prohibited
    Colorado Clear only Yes Must be clearly visible Covers that shield or impair the reading
    of a license plate by devices
    are also prohibited
    Connecticut Yes Yes Must be visible Covers cannot obscure or impair visibility
    Delaware Clear only Yes Must be
    clearly readable
    Red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are also prohibited
    District of Columbia NO Yes clearly and distinct Identification tags must be clearly legible
    Florida Yes Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    Red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are prohibited
    Georgia Clear only Yes Must be plainly visible Red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are prohibited
    Hawaii Yes Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    Plates must be unobscured at all times
    Idaho Yes Yes Must be free of foreign materials
    and visible at all times
    Plates must be clearly visible and legible
    Illinois NO Yes Must be clearly visible anti red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, devices, etc. are prohibited
    Indiana Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Plates must be free of foreign materials
    Iowa Yes Yes Permit full view of numbers and letters Frames must permit full view of all numbers and letters on registration plate
    Kansas NO Yes Must be clearly legible license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are prohibited
    Kentucky Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Frames and covers must permit
    full view of all numbers and letters
    on plate
    Louisiana Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Plates must be free of foreign materials
    Maine Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Plates, letters and numbers must be clearly visible at all times
    Maryland NO Yes Must be
    clearly visible
    No tinted, colored, painted, marked, clear or illuminated object designed to distort the characters on a license plate is allowed
    Massachusetts NO Yes Must be
    displayed conspicuously
    license plate covers, shields, etc. are prohibited
    Michigan Yes Yes Must be
    clearly visible
    Plates must be free of foreign materials
    Minnesota NO Yes Must be
    plainly visible
    No clear or colorless material that affects plated visibility or reflectivity is allowed
    Mississippi Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Plates, letters and numbers must not be covered by any object, marking, paint, etc.
    Missouri Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Covers may not impair reflective qualities of plate
    Montana Yes Yes Must be obviously visible "Montana" and border outline of state must be clearly visible
    Nebraska Yes Yes Must be visible All letters, numbers, etc. on plates must be free from grease dust and other blurring matter
    Nevada Yes Yes Readable from 100 ft. Plates must be clearly legible and free from foreign material
    New Hampshire Yes Yes Displayed conspicuously Plates must be clean and not be obscured
    New Jersey Yes Yes Displayed conspicuously sale or use of anti red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, devices, etc. are prohibited
    New Mexico Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be clearly legible and free from foreign material
    New York NO Yes Must be visible sale or use of anti red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, substances, etc. are prohibited
    North Carolina Yes Yes Plainly readable from 100 ft. No clear or colorless material that affects plate visibility or legibility is allowed
    North Dakota Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be clearly visible and letters and numbers must not be obscured
    Ohio Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be not be covered by any material that obstructs visibility
    Oklahoma NO NO Must be
    clearly visible
    No plate frame, cover or material is allowed
    Oregon NO Yes Plain view
    and easily read
    Any frame or plate holder that alters the plate or makes the numbers, letters or regtistration stickers difficult to read or unreadable is prohibited
    Pennsylvania NO Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    Red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are prohibited
    Puerto Rico Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be not be covered by any material that obstructs visibility
    Rhode Island Yes Yes Clearly visible Plainly readable from 100 ft.
    South Carolina No Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    No tinted covers allowed
    South Dakota Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be clearly visible and letters and numbers must not be obscured
    Tennessee No Yes Clearly visible No tinted covers allowed and plates must be clearly visible with no foreign materials
    Texas Yes Yes No reflective matter or blurring of the plate and plates must be free of foreign material and clearly legible
    Utah Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be free of foreign material and clearly visible
    Vermont No Yes Plainly legible No tinted covers allowed and plates must be plainly legible at all times
    Virginia Yes Yes Clearly visible
    and legible
    No colored frame or covers allowed and plates must be clearly visible and legible
    Washington Yes Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    Unlawful to use frames or covers that change, alter or obscure any portion of the plate or make it illegible
    West Virginia Yes Yes Clearly legible Plates must be free of foreign materials and clearly legible
    Wisconsin Yes Yes Clearly legible Plates must be at all times be maintained in a legible condition
    Wyoming Yes Yes Clearly legible Plates must be free of foreign materials and clearly legible

    The information in the chart above is a basic overview and is provided courtesy of Cruiser Accessories. For the full chart, download their State License Plate Laws - 2018.

    Comments, questions? Leave a comment below. If you're shopping for camera defense solutions or license plate frames and need assistance, contact us and we'll be happy to help!

  • Getting the most out of your radar detector

    Five Radar DetectorsYou recently received a ticket and after the initial shock, decided to take action to prevent it from happening ever again. So, you purchased a radar detector. You researched the products thoroughly, shopped around, and after weighing all the features and options, you made your choice, and it was a good one. You know this, because everyone who already had one raved about it relentlessly. This was THE radar detector. The ONE. The open road was finally yours to conquer!

    Then it arrived. Excitedly, you set up your new radar detector, turned it on and took off for a test drive.

    And you got another ticket.

    Angrily, you yanked it off the dashboard, put it back in the box, and called the company so you could send it back, because it didn't work. It didn't prevent the ticket! Why?

    One of the most common misconconceptions about radar and laser detectors is that the mere presence of one in a vehicle guarantees you will get the advertised performance expected of it out of the box, automatically. However, there's more to it than that. A radar detector isn't just a device to detect radar. It's a tool, an instrument designed to perform a specialized function. As with any tool, it requires an operator to understand and to use it.

    A fine brush won't paint a masterpiece. A high-end guitar cannot play itself. (I was going to say piano, but a player piano actually can.) Like any precision tool or instrument, one has to know how to operate it properly. Just like the vehicle you drive, a radar detector must be learned, understood and properly used to get the most out of it.

    If you pass a patrol car or checkpoint of some sort and your detector doesn't go off, it could be due to a number of reasons. Here are some common questions to consider.

    Is the detector powered on?
    Is the detector properly installed or aimed to pick up the threat?
    Is it configured to detect the radar or laser band(s) used in your area?
    Is the detector configured to filter out or ignore those frequencies or that band?
    Is there anything in the way of the detector's sensors or antenna to deflect or block the incoming threat?
    Is the detector set to mute any audible or visual alerts?
    Is there even a radar gun in use?

    As you can see, there is more to using a radar detector than simply slapping it on the windshield or attaching it to the dash. Before blaming the detector, check your operation. Remember, the key to getting the most out of your radar detector starts with an understanding of how it works and learning how to work it.

    What radar detectors do
    A radar detector is designed to detect and alert the driver to a specific range of radio waves or frequencies used for Radio Detection and Ranging, or RADAR. If the detector is also designed to detect laser, it should detect frequencies in the infrared spectrum of pulsed laser light used for Light Detection and Ranging, or LIDAR, as well. Radar and Lidar are both line-of-sight, which means that they must be within the range and view of the detection device in order for the device to detect them. In short, a radar detector must be properly placed or installed in the vehicle to accurately detect radar and laser threats.

    What radar detectors don't do
    A radar detector detects radar, not cops. Police officers don't emit radar. Radar guns do. Unless the LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) has a radar gun hand, it is turned on and it is aimed down the road in your general direction, your radar detector is not going to detect it. Even if the radar gun is on and aimed directly at your vehicle, it will only detect the presence of the radar gun. It certainly won't detect the cop holding it.

    Also, be aware that there are other methods of traffic enforcement that don't utilize radar technology, such as VASCAR. If one or more of those methods are being used in the area through which you are traveling, your radar detector won't detect those, either.

    The types of radar bands
    There are specific radar bands and frequencies used for speed detection and enforcement.

    • X Band (10.525 GHz)
    • Ku Band (13.45 GHz)
    • K Band (24.1 GHz)
    • Ka Narrow Band (33.8-35.5 GHz)
    • Ka Wide Band (33.4-36 GHz)

    X band is an older band, and not used much by law enforcement in most areas. However, is still used occasionally in some rural locations, so it should not be completely ignored.

    K band is actively used by law enforcement, but is also often used by other radar emitting devices as well, such as vehicle assist systems and automatic door openers. This opens the door (pun intended) to false alerts, so some filtering of this band is needed.

    Ka band is popular with law enforcement today and is commonly used to detect speeders. If your detector is not properly set up to detect Ka, you will probably get a ticket if an officer tags you on that band.

    Ku band is used in Europe and is not used in the US. Unless you live in the EU, don't worry about Ku band.

    The difference between radar and laser detection
    Radar and Laser are two different methods used for speed enforcement, and each requires a different method of defense. Knowing the difference between the two can help you more effectively manage the operation of your detector to defend yourself against a speeding ticket.

    Radar signals are very wide, and cover a broad area. Radar is somewhat slow compared to Lidar (laser) and is the most common technology used by police for speed enforcement. It is also used for many other devices on or around roadways, including speed cameras, traffic monitoring systems and automatic door openers, to name a few. In addition, radar is used in vehicles for collision avoidance and driver assist systems. Because of this, the potential for false alerts has increased dramatically in recent years.

    Laser signals are very narrow, with a wavelength of about 900 nanometers (nm). They also travel at the speed of light, so they are extremely fast, allowing an officer to clock a driver in less than a second. This is a real danger to the driver, because it does not allow enough time to react to a laser alert. By the time you get the alert, the officer already tagged your speed. For this reason, radar detectors that also detect laser are often referred to as ticket notifiers. While not as commonly used by law enforcement as radar, its use is increasing. The threat from laser is real, and growing.

    If laser is used in your area of travel, it is advisable to include additional laser defense products in your countermeasure system, such as a laser jammer or Laser Veil.

    Optimizing range
    Some radar detectors have higher sensitivity than others, and can detect radar waves at greater distances. This is known as range. Choosing a detector with greater range can be a definite asset on the road.

    But sensitivity isn't the only factor in determining range, or performance. It also depends on where you mount your detector. The general rule of thumb is to mount it higher for radar detection only and lower for laser. The optimal position is to mount it centered in the vehicle, low to the dash, and close to the windshield, preferably directly to the windshield itself if laws allow. This allows the detector to have a wider field of view to detect both radar and laser threats from the front of the vehicle, where the majority of threats originate.

    Filtering out false alerts
    Great range alone won't do the job. Your detector also needs to determine the difference between a radar signal and a radar threat. As mentioned earlier, there are numerous sources of radar on the road and detecting or ignoring the wrong ones can confuse both you and your detector. It could also get you into trouble quick. This is why your detector should be configured and optimized to discern a false alert from a real one.

    There are many new technologies that utilize radar on the road. They need to be identified, some as real threats, and others to be filtered out. Technologies such as MultaRadar (MRCD and MRCT) are used with traffic and red light cameras and need to be identified. Radar used for collision avoidance systems and traffic assist on newer vehicles need to be filtered out. Many of these systems are fairly new, so older radar detectors do not have the ability to recognize them for what they are. If you have an basic detector or one that is very old, there is a good chance it will either alert you to everything, or not alert you at all. Either way, it won't do the job.

    Newer detectors, such as the Radenso Pro M or the Uniden R3, are designed with advanced filtering for many of these systems built-in, allowing you to adjust and optimize your detection system to filter out the noise and detect the real threats for maximum protection.

    When to be confident
    The time to be confident is when driving in normal traffic, with vehicles all around you. This is an optimal scenario for a radar detector because it would likely go off when a LEO tags a vehicle in front of you, behind you, or in the next lane. That warning should provide ample time to check your speed and avoid a ticket yourself, before the radar gun is aimed at you.

    When to be cautious
    The time to be most cautious is when traffic is light, there aren't cars ahead of you, or you are traveling on a lonely road. With few or no other vehicles around, your vehicle is most likely to be tagged by a LEO. While not completely ineffective, in such cases a radar detector is not going to be much help on its own, especially if a police officer is using an instant-on radar gun or laser gun to tag you. In this scenario, you need to stay alert, watch your speed and ease off the pedal when approaching curves, hills or potential roadside obstructions where a LEO could hide.

    Use common sense
    A radar detector by itself will not prevent you from getting a ticket. As we've said many times, it is only one component of a complete ticket protection system, albeit a very important one. simply pulling a budget bubble pack unit from the shelf and putting it on your dash isn't going to do the job. You need to learn how it works, learn how to work it, and operate both it and your vehicle using a common sense approach for every unique situation on the road. In other words, drive smart. Only then can your radar detector help you avoid a speeding ticket.

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