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  • 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?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • What is VASCAR?

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

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

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

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

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

  • How to set the Whistler CR75 Selectable Tone

    CR75.jpgMost of the core features of a typical radar detector are built right into the Whistler CR Series by default, and, as typical of most other brands, the farther up the line you go, the more of those standard features you get. The Whistler CR75 is no exception. As the model in the middle, it has basically all the same core features the lower end Whistler models with an added tweak or two of its own. Most, of these features are explained in the owner's manual that accompanies the device. However, there is one feature that, although included on the list of menu items printed in the manual, isn't really explained at all. It is a feature called Selectable Tone.

    The Whistler CR75 emits a different tone for alerts on X, K and Ka bands. Each tone is a simple, yet distinct sound that helps you identify the specific radar band that triggered the alert without taking your eyes off the road and actually looking at the display. These alerts are somewhat "customizable", meaning that you can choose which one of the alert tones are assigned to each band. Since there are three tones and three bands, one would think there are nine possible combinations of bands and tones, but there are only three.

    To choose your alerts, press the menu button until TONE X appears (X is a number from 1 to 3). DARK and QUIET buttons to toggle back and forth through TONE 1, TONE 2 and TONE 3. The CR75 will emit the three tones in each set of tones for your review. Press MENU to set your choice and you are ready to go.

  • Escort Redline improved with new high performance features

    redline.jpgIt is certainly no secret that the Escort Redline is one of the top names on the list of high performance radar detectors available today. What you may not know is that this powerful and popular model was recently updated with new features to further enhance its radar detection capabilites. That's right. A new version of the Redline is now shipping with two new features. The only thing is, you have to find them.

    Fortunately, Buy Radar Detectors can help. We're going to tell you what these new features are and, more importantly, how to find them, because (at least for the moment) they aren't in the manual.

    Superwide Ka Segment Adjust
    Scanning the entire Superwide Ka band can slow down detection and isn't necessary when only a few of those bands are used in your country or region. The Superwide Ka Segment Adjust allows you to select specific frequencies on the Superwide Ka band to be scanned while ignoring those that are not relevant for your area. This selective scanning will speed up scanning and detection time, thus adding precious seconds to potential alerts.

    Radar Detector Rejection
    Some false alerts are caused by radar detectors in other vehicles. Radar Detector Rejection (RDR) minimizes these false alerts by rejecting those generated by other detectors. As with other scans, performance of the Redline increases when RDR is off, however this can also increase the number of false alerts from other radar detectors. If you are driving with little traffic, turning RDR off can be helpful. If you are in an urban area or on a busy highway, turning RDR on may be preferable. Either way, you have a choice.

    These features sound great. There's just one issue. Escort recently added these new features to the latest version of the Redline detector itself, but, as of the date of this article, not to the user manual. Instead, the company included a card with the new version of the Redline that explains how to use the new Superwide Ka Segment Adjust. Unfortunately, the instructions are incorrect. In addition, there is no information at all about the second feature, the RDR Toggle. However, don't worry, because we're going to give you the correct instructions for both. Read on.

    Accessing the Ka Segment Adjust
    To adjust Superwide Ka, you must first turn Ka off. To do so, hold down the VOLUME/MUTE and SENS buttons simultaneously for two seconds until PREFS appears on the display. This is the Preferences menu. To navigate through the menu, press the RVW (Volume/Mute) button repeatedly until BANDS appears on the display. Press the SENS button repeatedly until Ka SW ON appears, then hold down the SENS button for one second to turn Ka SW OFF.

    Once Superwide Ka is off, you can continue to press the SENS button to toggle through the other bands. You will now have ten additional items on the menu, all Ka frequencies. Using the SENS button, you can now selectively turn them on or off.

    Note: Escort's instructions tell you to turn the bands on or off by using the MUTE button. This is incorrect. Pressing the MUTE button will take you back to the main preferences menu, which will only serve to confuse and frustrate you.

    Setting the RDR Toggle
    To access RDR, Hold down the VOLUME/MUTE and SENS buttons simultaneously for two seconds until PREFS appears on the display. Press the RVW (Volume/Mute) button repeatedly until BANDS appears on the display. Press the SENS button repeatedly until RDR appears, then hold down the SENS button for one second to toggle RDR ON or OFF.

    Escort added two great new features to the Redline radar detector that will help you drive smarter. All they need to do now is tell you where to find them so it won't drive you crazy. Hopefully, we just helped you drive that one home.

  • Beltronics Pro 500 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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