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  • BlendMount keeps your radar detector in front and out of the way

    BBE-2000-INFO2.jpgAs you probably know, radar detectors not physically installed or hard wired into a vehicle are usually mounted toward the front of it in one of two ways, either stuck to the dashboard or stuck to the windshield, typically using suction cups. For the most part, this method of attachment works reasonably well, with a few caveats. Suction cups that don't maintain suction, those that mark up or discolor the surface of the windshield glass over prolonged use (sometimes permanently) and loose, dangling wires obstructing your view of the road are all common complaints. But what if you could eliminate all of those annoyances and keep your radar detector within reach? What if you could mount it rigidly and securely, yet with great flexibility? Well, guess what? Now you can, with a BlendMount.

    BlendMount mounts your Beltronics, Escort or Valentine One radar detector directly to your rear view mirror. This innovative solution greatly reduces or eliminates the clutter from your windshield or dashboard associated with traditional mounting kits. BlendMount tucks the detector neatly under the mirror. It fastens securely to the mirror so it won't slip, slide or "lose suction". Yet it's also adjustable, featuring a bracket that can rotate 20 degrees so you can position your radar detector for the best coverage and performance possible.

    The BlendMount mirror mount system also allow your detector to be more discreet and out of the way. Without the windshield and dashboard clutter, you can see more of the road ahead instead of all the stuff in front of it. This helps you concentrate on driving and promotes safety.

    For an even cleaner and more discreet mounting solution, the BlendMount can be hard wired into your auto-dimming or powered rear view mirror with the optional MirrorTap Power Cord. This 24 gauge wire cord with braided flexible sleeve and 2 amp inline fuse taps directly into the wire harness of your mirror and connects to 12V power in your vehicle. The installation is easy and can be completed in a few minutes. However, for those who are not inclined to do it themselves, an optional InstallCard Direct Wire Installation service can be purchased with the BlendMount for professional installation.

    BlendMount is made of hand crafted black anodized aluminum and is durable, lightweight and secure. It is also made in the USA. BlendMount is custom designed for each vehicle and there is a version available for most popular makes and models, although not all. Before purchasing a BlendMount, check this list to find out which BlendMount fits your vehicle!

  • How To Reset A Beltronics Radar Detector To Factory Defaults

    Have you been changing your radar detector's settings and want to start over? Having a problem and want to see if a reset will help? You've come to the right place! Below are instructions for resetting a Beltronics radar detector back to factory defaults!

    Professional Series

    The following applies to windshield mounted models from the Beltronics Professional Series, which includes the following detectors: Pro 100, Pro 200, Pro 300, RX65.

    • Press and hold the "CITY" and "BRT" buttons while turning the power on. The display will provide a RESET message, accompanied by an audible alert, acknowledging the reset.

    GPS Enhanced Professional Series

    For GPS enhanced Professional Series models, such as the GX65 and Pro 500:

    • Press and hold the "SENS" and "BRT" buttons while turning the power on. The display will provide a RESET message, accompanied by an audible alert, acknowledging the reset.

    STi Series

    For undetectable radar detectors, such as the STi Driver, STi Magnum, and STi-R:

    • Press and hold the "VOLUME/MUTE" and "SENS" buttons while turning the power on. The display will provide a RESET message, accompanied by an audible alert, acknowledging the reset.

    Vector Series

    The following applies to windshield mounted models from the Beltronics Vector Series, which includes the following detectors:
    Vector 940, Vector 955, Vector 965, Vector 995.

    • Press and hold the "CITY" and "BRT" buttons while turning the power on. The display will provide a RESET message, accompanied by an audible alert, acknowledging the reset.

    Custom Installed Radar Detectors

    RX45:

    • Press and hold the "SENS" and "BRT" buttons while turning the power on. The display will provide a RESET message, accompanied by an audible alert, acknowledging the reset.

    STi-R, STi-R Plus:

    • Press and hold the "VOLUME/MUTE" and "SENS" buttons while turning the power on. The display will provide a RESET message, accompanied by an audible alert, acknowledging the reset.

    RX75:

    • Press and hold the "VOLUME/MUTE" and "CITY" buttons while turning the power on. The display will provide a RESET message, accompanied by an audible alert, acknowledging the reset.

  • Are Laser Jammers Legal?

    Although most if not all radar detectors today do offer laser detection, the effectiveness of a laser alert isn't guaranteed. A laser gun can get your speed in less than one second, which is hardly enough time for the average detector to even issue an alert, much less enough for you to react, so even the best detector will only provide a minimal reaction time to laser.

    In scenarios where a laser gun is in use, simple detection isn't enough. You need something more. You need a laser jammer.

    A laser jammer can be a key component in any good traffic enforcement detection system. The laser jammer will prevent the laser gun from working effectively by blocking the laser somewhat as it hits your vehicle and buy you a few valuable seconds to react and slow down while the laser gun attempts another read. This makes the laser jammer an important partner for your radar detector.

    But are they legal? Are you allowed to have and use a laser jammer in your area?

    States where laser jammers are illegal

    • California (CA)
    • Colorado (CO)
    • Illinois (IL)
    • Minnesota (MN)
    • Nebraska (NE)
    • Oklahoma (OK)
    • South Carolina (SC)
    • Tennessee (TN)
    • Texas (TX)
    • Utah (UT)
    • Virginia (VA)
    • Washington, D.C.

    States where laser jammers are legal

    • Alabama (AL)
    • Alaska (AK)
    • Arizona (AZ)
    • Arkansas (AR)
    • Connecticut (CT)
    • Delaware (DE)
    • Florida (FL)
    • Georgia (GA)
    • Hawaii (HI)
    • Idaho (ID)
    • Indiana (IN)
    • Iowa (IA)
    • Kansas (KS)
    • Kentucky (KY)
    • Louisiana (LA)
    • Maine (ME)
    • Maryland (MD)
    • Massachusetts (MA)
    • Michigan (MI)
    • Mississippi (MS)
    • Missouri (MO)
    • Montana (MT)
    • Nevada (NV)
    • New Hampshire (NH)
    • New Jersey (NJ)
    • New Mexico (NM)
    • New York (NY)
    • North Carolina (NC)
    • North Dakota (ND)
    • Ohio (OH)
    • Oregon (OR)
    • Pennsylvania (PA)
    • Rhode Island (RI)
    • South Dakota (SD)
    • Vermont (VT)
    • Washington (WA)
    • West Virginia (WV)
    • Wisconsin (WI)
    • Wyoming (WY)

    In states where such devices are not allowed, there may be other alternatives - Laser Veil or Laser Shield. Veil Stealth Coating is a transparent, topical solution that is applied on the reflective surfaces of your vehicle where traffic enforcement officers tend to aim their laser guns. Laser Shield is a translucent anti-laser license plate cover that absorbs and diffuses a laser beam when aimed at your license plate. (Note: Laser Shield may or may not be considered "covering" a license plate in states where license plate covers are not permitted, so check your state laws before using it.

    While not quite as effective as a laser jammer, these products do tend to reduce the range of a laser gun when applied or installed properly. This allows your radar detector to give the alert and give you a few extra seconds to react, which could be the difference between getting a ticket, or getting by.

  • The Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black Unboxing Video

    Danny provides an out-of-the-box experience with the features and functionality of the Escort Passport 8500 X50 radar detector. Many features and menu options described in this tutorial video also apply to other models of Escort radar detectors. If you are new to the 8500 X50 or new to radar detectors in general, this video walk-through is for you.

  • Whistler Cruisader Radar Detector Installation

    whistler_cruisader.pngOne of our customers who recently purchased a Whistler Cruisader for his Suzuki GSX-R 600 motorcycle recently sent us a message with a link to a post he made on a forum detailing his installation. This customer ran into a some trouble during the installation, and posted some tips that might help out others. I encourage you to check it out if you are considering purchasing a Whistler Cruisader.

  • Defensive Driving Online - Prevention and Cure

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    UPDATE: The web site referenced in this article is no longer available.

    If this is your first time to BuyRadarDetectors.com, welcome. If you're here because you recently got a traffic ticket and didn't have a radar detector, we're sorry to hear that, and we're here to help. We've teamed up with the nationally recognized course Defensive Driving Online For Dummies to help you dismiss tickets from your driving record and keep your insurance premiums low.

    Each year more than 24 million drivers in the US receive a traffic citation. Frequently changing speed limits, new red-light cameras, and unclear road signs make navigating the streets challenging. Naturally, drivers using radar detectors are (far) less likely to receive tickets. According to a leading online traffic school course provider, the average US driver receives a traffic citation (warnings included) every 3.2 years. With the cost of a citation ranging from $90 to $600, it's easy to see how owning a radar detector can help you save money and time.

    Avoiding Future Headaches
    If you believe Benjamin Franklin that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", so do we. Online defensive driving and online traffic school courses give drivers a convenient and cost effective way to keep tickets from showing up on their record and impacting their insurance rates. A radar detector goes a step further in helping drivers avoid hearing those unfortunate words "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

    How Defensive Driving For Dummies Works
    While the process for taking online defensive driving courses to dismiss a citation can vary from state-to-state, most follow a basic pattern. That is:

    Step 1: Go to www.DefensiveDrivingForDummies.com and register for the online course. It's self-paced, allowing you to start and stop at your convenience.

    Step 2: Take the course.

    Step 3: When you've completed (and passed) the course, you'll receive you're certificate of completion in the mail.

    Step 4: Avoid another costly ticket by buying a radar detector from BuyRadarDetectors.com.

    Are you Eligible To Take Defensive Driving Online?
    While rules for online traffic school eligibility will vary from state to state, most typically use these five factors:

    1. You have a valid in-state, non-commercial, drivers license or permit;
    2. You have proof of vehicle insurance listing you as the driver;
    3. You were not charged with speeding 25 miles, or more, over the limit;
    4. You were not ticketed in a construction or school zone;
    5. You have not taken (and are not currently attending) a driver safety course to dismiss another ticket.

    For more information go to www.DefensiveDrivingForDummies.com or call 1-800-875-4409.

  • City Mode vs Highway Mode

    Radar detectors typically operate in several levels or modes of sensitivity. You will usually find a choice between one or more City Modes and Highway Mode. Understanding the difference between them is simple, yet choosing the right mode for a given situation can be very important.

    Simply put, when you are choosing City or Highway Mode, you are adjusting the sensitivity level of the radar detector. The level of sensitivity affects the type of signals the radar detector will detect and alert you to. City Mode is on the low end of the sensitivity scale, Highway Mode on the high end.

    Setting your radar detector to City Mode will generally reduce sensitivity to filter out "false" radar signals generated by devices that typically operate on X-band and are usually detected when driving around town, such as automatic door openers. Some radar detectors such as those made by Beltronics, Cobra and Whistler have multiple City Modes in which the detection of such signals can be reduced by varying degrees or even turned off in an attempt to eliminate falsing altogether.

    Highway Mode sets your radar detector to full sensitivity for maximum range of detection while on the road. When in Highway Mode, the detector is set to detect all types of radar that it can detect. While this can increase the number of false alerts in the city, the chances are much greater that those signals detected on the open road are real threats.

    When driving around downtown, setting your radar detector to City Mode should keep you alert to potential threats while filtering out false alerts. When driving on the highway or in rural areas, it is best to set your radar detector to Highway Mode.

  • Are Red Light Cameras A Safety Hazard?

    Among the many things in the new century that drivers love to hate, red light cameras are surely near the top of the list. These intrusive devices have become the bane of city driving at intersections across America. Aside from the budget busting cost of the tickets generated by these cameras, the concept of being monitored and photographed by the government while inside their own vehicle can be annoying, unnerving, and more than a little creepy to many drivers. Add to that the burden of proof placed on the poor soul unlucky enough to be caught in the snare of one or more of these traps around an intersection, and 2011 is more like 1984.

    There are many reasons given to support the use of red light cameras, and, not surprisingly, they are all staunchly defended by both local cash strapped governments in search of revenue and the companies who install and maintain them in search of cash cows. There is, however, one aspect to the whole Red Light Camera debate which I believe, from my own personal experience, is just flat out, dangerously wrong.

    Safety.

    Proponents of red light cameras claim that the primary reason for having them is to deter drivers from running red lights, which, at least in theory, reduces the number of accidents at a given intersection and makes it safer for drivers, pedestrians, everyone.

    Opponents of such devices say they are only there to generate revenue for local governments and red light camera companies, and actually cause more accidents than they prevent. Many concerned and frustrated drivers turn to photo enforcement defense to protect themselves and their wallets from such threats.

    Numerous studies have been performed on this very issue. Some studies show that red light cameras decrease the number of accidents and fatalities at intersections where they are installed; other studies show an increase. In other words, the results are mixed. Based on the collective data from all of them combined, the outcome of each study seems to depend somewhat on the study itself: who performed the study, how the study was performed and, most importantly, who funded it.

    According to some of these studies, red light cameras and the red lights that accommodate them are tweaked to deliver maximum revenue potential. Whether that allegation is actually true or not may necessitate a study of its own. However, at least a few of those studies seem to be corroborated by the drivers who encounter red lights equipped with cameras and report that the duration of yellow caution lights at such intersections often drops from the traditional five seconds, down to three seconds or less.

    Consider also that for some reason (whether intentional or not) some of these cameras seem a little trigger happy when the lights are still yellow and there is little doubt why some drivers are a bit suspicious when it comes to true motive for these contraptions.

    Numbers can be manipulated, but facts are facts. The fact is, I feel more at risk of having an accident at an intersection equipped with these camera traps than one without. I feel it. It's that sense of heightened awareness and foreboding that at any second, the light can change and put me in the dangerous position of either risking a ticket or risking an accident by trying to avoid one.

    Here is a classic example of why I think red light cameras actually serve to cause accidents instead of prevent them. This is a true story.

    On the afternoon of December 31, 2010, my family and I drove from Charlotte, North Carolina to Wilmington to ring in the new year with my sister, brother-in-law and young nephew. With me was my wife, my 12 year old daughter, my 11 year old son and his dog. The three hour trip covered city and highway, starting with a long stretch of road that was a little of both.

    This latter portion of road, while technically built as a highway, went right through various towns, and the first third of those had a number of red light intersections. They were generally not equipped with red light cameras and I didn't worry about them. I didn't run any, either. Aside from heavy traffic flow, the trip to Wilmington was largely uneventful.

    Then we entered Wilmington. The sun had set and it was now early evening. As soon as we entered town, we encountered red light camera traps. We felt trapped, because they were at nearly every intersection along our route. Suddenly I was on high alert.

    Green lights went yellow and almost instantly changed to red. It seemed as though all these intersections were rigged to catch any driver they could whether that driver intended to run a red light or not. I slowed the car down and approached each intersection carefully, ready to brake at the first sign of a yellow light. Yet I still had to maintain a reasonable speed to prevent disrupting the flow of traffic and angering drivers behind me.

    The yellow lights did not last long but I was cautious enough to anticipate the changes and stop in time. In fact, I was so focused on the lights I found it difficult to concentrate on the rest of the road. The red light cameras themselves were a major distraction.

    While we were waiting at one light, I glanced at the intersection a few blocks ahead. The lights at that intersection turned yellow. A car ahead of us entered the intersection just as the lights went red. Flash! Flash! Flash! The entire intersection lit up as if it were high noon. Great, I thought. If all the lights on this road are timed properly, I should be able to make it through that light on the next cycle while it's still green.

    We got the green light at our stop and we moved forward. A few moments later the light at the next intersection turned green as well, and I thought we had it made.

    I was wrong.

    Just as we approached the light, it turned yellow. I was well within the speed limit, but we were so close there was no time to stop safely without violently slamming on the brakes. Worse yet, there was a car right behind me with no sign of slowing down. If I suddenly stopped, he would not be able to react in time and likely plow right into us. On the other hand, based on what happened to the last car, I knew I wouldn't make the yellow light.

    My first reaction was to hit the brake, but logic overruled instinct. I had to make a split second decision: either run the light and get a ticket I could not afford - or slam on the brakes and get hit from behind, hurting or possibly even killing those in the car behind me, myself, or, worse, the ones I love.

    I decided to keep going. As I passed underneath, I looked up. Yellow turned to red just as the traffic light passed over the windshield and out of sight. My pulse quickened, I held my breath, and turned my gaze back to the road. For a moment my mind went blank. I stared straight ahead, waiting for the dreaded three flashes of light to flood my peripheral vision.

    If the flashes came, I didn't notice them. We made it safely across the intersection without causing an accident. I haven't received a ticket in the mail yet, either, although we all know that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

    All I know is this. In one brief moment I had to decide whether to prevent a ticket and have an accident, or have a ticket and prevent an accident. When it comes to red light camera traps, you can be punished for doing the right thing. You can lose either way.

    You can have the studies. My position on red light cameras is based on my actual experiences with them. I find them dangerous, not only to my rights, but to my safety - and the safety of those with and around me.

  • Is My Radar Detector Working Properly?

    People who are new to radar detectors are sometimes unsure if their shiny new detector is working properly. We get a lot of questions like: "I just passed a cop and my new detector didn't go off - is it defective?" In this article, I will try to provide some tips to help you build up a level of trust in your radar detector and help you recognize if there is a real problem.

    First of all, I would recommend reading our article detailing how to use a radar detector. This explains the basics of how a radar detector works and when it can and can't be trusted.

    It is important to realize that a radar detector is designed to detect radar. It doesn't detect police officers or police cars. Do not expect your radar detector to produce an alert every time you see a police car. Many times, police are not actively checking the speed of other vehicles and in these cases they may have their radar gun turned off. Some police may specialize in other types of crime and not even be equipped with a radar gun.

    Police radar guns aren't the only devices using radar. As you drive, you'll probably notice that you get alerts as you approach shopping centers. Automatic doors at these locations are a common source of false alerts. Other devices, even some radar detectors, produce false alerts as well. As you drive with your new detector, try to pay attention to the radar band of the alert (X, K, or Ka) and identify the source.

    After you've put some miles on your detector, you'll start to become used to common sources of false alerts and you'll get a feeling for what type of alert (band and signal strength) is real. This depends very much on your area, but typically most false alerts are X band and Ka must be taken seriously.

    We recommend that when your detector is new, set it to Highway mode. This will make the detector the most sensitive and it will produce a high number of false alerts. After you become accustomed to driving with the detector, adjust the filtering to one of the City modes (we recommend AutoScan for Beltronics and Escort detectors). Whistler detectors have several filter modes as well that you can play with. The city modes and filtering options allow you to "tweak" the sensitivity to match your area and your driving style.

    If your detector is producing alerts at consistent locations, then it is likely working properly. If you believe that you are not getting the range you should be, first check to be sure your detector is mounted completely level and is as high as possible on the windshield (without being blocked). That being said, we have seen a few strange issues from time to time. If you've read this and you believe your detector is acting a little flaky, please give us a call or send us an email!

  • Hardwiring a Whistler Radar Detector

    One of the cool things about Whistler radar detectors is that several of them come standard with a hardwire kit. Most of the other radar detector makers have optional hardwire kits along with other radar detector accessories, but getting one in the box with the detector is always a nice addition. Being able to do a custom installation and hide the power cord is a popular option for many people. So having the kit come with the radar detector just further illustrates Whistler's commitment to its customers.

    Hardwiring a radar detector can be a bit confusing though, so thanks to Bryan and all the other fine folks at Whistler we have been given permission to repost the instructions:

    "One end of the power cord plugs directly into the detector. Two connectors are located on the other end, the "horseshoe" or "U" connector (ground "-") and a "blade" connector (positive "+").

    Attach the "U" ground connector to chassis ground of the vehicle. This will be a metal area that makes contact with the metal of the vehicle. To make the detector go on/off with the key, attach the positive wire in one of the following methods:

    1: Locate an optional plug-in connector in the fuse box. Generally this connector is marked with "IGN" or "ACC". Simply plug the spade connector into this jack. If no plug-ins are available on fuse box, go to option 2.

    2: Select a circuit in the fuse box that has power to it only when the key is on (i.e., radio fuse). Remove the fuse selected. Cut the spade connector off the positive wire and strip back the wire about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch. Wrap the wire around one of the fuse's metal tabs and replace back in fuse box.

    To make the detector stay on all the time, (manually turning it off), attach the positive wire in one of the following methods:

    1: Locate an optional plug-in connector in the fuse box. Generally this connector is marked with "BAT". Simply plug the spade connector into this jack. If no plug-ins are available on fuse box, go to option 2.

    2: Select a circuit in the fuse box that has power to it all the time (i.e., dome light fuse). Remove the fuse selected. Cut the spade connector off the positive wire and strip back the wire about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch. Wrap the wire around one of the fuse's metal tabs and replace back in fuse box."

    Thanks again to everyone over at Whistler for letting us post this on our radar detector blog!

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