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Buy Radar Detectors Blog

  • Is the Escort Live! SmartCord compatible with older radar detectors?

    The Escort SmartCord Live! adds another dimension to newer compatible Escort radar detectors. This compatibility list, although somewhat exclusive, includes a few Beltronics models as well. The Beltronics Pro 300, Pro 500 and STi Magnum are the three models on the official list. But what about older models? After all, the Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black is essentially a tweaked version of the Passport 8500 X50, which is an update of the original Passport 8500. Likewise, the Beltronics Pro 300 is basically a redressed and updated Beltronics RX65. Wouldn't Escort Live! work with them as well?

    Not necessarily. According to Escort, older versions of these classic detectors may or may not be compatible with Escort Live! The official answer from Escort: it depends.

    The problem is, the public doesn't know what specific factors determine compatibility. Escort doesn't say. What the company does tell us is that some older Escort 8500 and Beltronics RX65 radar detectors may be compatible with Escort Live! and others may not. Compatibility is determined on a case by case basis.

    What does this mean for users of the Beltronics RX65 and the older Escort Passport 8500 X50? The solution is simple. If you own an Escort PASSPORT 8500 X50 purchased before 2008 or if you own a Beltronics RX65, please call Buy Radar Detectors Toll Free at 1-800-584-1445 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm ET to determine compatibility of your model with the Escort Live! SmartCord.

  • The Cobra iRadar S-Series unveiled!

    In a previous article we took a look at a brand new model in the Cobra iRadar system to be released in May of this year, the iRadar Atom. There is, however, another iteration of iRadar coming right on its heels, one that places the iRadar system in a different category of radar detectors altogether. It's the iRadar S-Series, and it adds another dimension to the product line. Let's take a quick look at it now.

    Cobra_iRadar_S_Series.jpgThe iRadar S200R
    The iRadar S-Series takes the entire iRadar detection concept to the next level - concealed radar detectors. The S-Series (S meaning "Stealth"?) is the first concealed series of detectors utilizing the Cobra iRadar detection system. The first model in the series, the iRadar S200R, is designed to install directly into your vehicle, under the hood, sight unseen.

    Of course, that by itself is nothing new; companies such as Beltronics, Escort and Whistler have been manufacturing internally wired, concealed radar detectors for years. Detection systems such as the Beltronics RX45, the Escort 9500ci and the Whistler Pro 3600 are all well known examples. There's nothing innovative there. Or is there?

    There is. Indeed, there is one thing that sets the new S-Series apart from the rest of them. The iRadar S200R is the first under-the-hood, concealed radar detector to use Bluetooth® technology to connect directly with your smartphone and access an Internet database to exchange information with a million other radar detectors on the road.

    Okay, let's rewind a bit. iRadar? What is it? In a nutshell, it's a web-based network that shares updates and real-time information on known speed traps, red light cameras, speed cameras and other traffic alerts in your area with every driver and radar detector actively connected to it. It sounds a lot like the Escort Live! system, and it is. For details, read our article on the new iRadar Atom.

    Now back to the program. According to Cobra, the new iRadar S200R becomes completely invisible when it's installed under the hood of a vehicle. Now, to me, invisible means that it can't be seen with the naked eye, and if it is installed under the hood of a vehicle, more than likely it won't be visible, literally. However, it doesn't necessarily mean the S200R is undetectable, especially if someone is specifically trying to sense it with a radar detector detector. In fact, Cobra doesn't say that it uses any actual stealth technology at all to avoid detection, it only claims that you can't see it when installed. In other words, don't expect it to be an STi Magnum, because it isn't one. It's just hiding itself from an ocular view.

    With that in mind, it still sounds like a cool device. A concealed radar detector that connects wirelessly to your iPhone or Android smartphone, interfaces with an app and networks in real-time with a million other radar detectors on the road does take radar detection technology up a notch. Whether it lives up to the classic Cobra hype, time will tell. But it does sound cool and it's worth checking out when it arrives, which is supposed to be sometime in August, 2013. Manufacturer suggested retail price: $299.95.

    Subscribe to this blog for the arrival of the new Cobra iRadar S200R at Buy Radar Detectors!

  • Cobra to launch the iRadar Atom in May 2013

    Cobra_iRadar_ATOM.jpgAs we reported earlier, Cobra made several new product announcements for 2013 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. One of these was the unveiling of a new addition to the Cobra iRadar series of radar detectors, the iRadar Atom. The company previewed the new device along with other entries in its new product line-up, including the soon-to-be-launched Cobra SPX Radar Detectors, due out this April.

    The Atom is based on Cobra's iRadar system, which combines a radar detector with a smartphone app to allow users to share detection alerts with one another in real time. It is essentially the same basic concept as the Escort Live! system. Both systems work by connecting a radar detector to either an iPhone or Android smartphone running a specialized app to communicate with an Internet database to report and receive data on traffic enforcement activities and threats in the area. This data is shared with other drivers also connected with the system, creating a virtual network of real-time radar and laser detection across the continent.

    Both systems do essentially the same thing, with one difference. The Escort Live! system relies on an external, modular type of connection to create an interface between the detector and the smartphone, while the iRadar integrates the wireless interface internally into the detector itself. There are advantages to each design, however when it comes to installation and portability, the iRadar has a slight edge.

    There have been a couple of iterations of the Cobra iRadar, each improving on the last. The original iRadar was launched in 2010, beating Escort to the punch by roughly a year, and was fairly well received. After Escort Live! was launched, Cobra updated their own system with the iRadar 200, which according to Cobra, became wildly popular.

    iRadar-Hardware.pngThe iRadar Atom
    Now Cobra is about to introduce its latest version, the iRadar Atom. Cobra is touting it as the smallest and most powerful radar/laser/camera detection system they have ever developed, and the most compact radar detector on the market. Cobra claims the new Atom is 35% smaller in size than their other models in the iRadar series. The first model in the series came in two versions: the iRadar 100 (iPhone) and the iRadar 105 (Android). Each was a sleek, slim device measuring 1.15 in. x 2.92 in. x 4.22 in. According to dimensions provided by Cobra, the Atom measures 1.15 in. x 2.25in. x 3.30in. If these measurements are correct, it would indeed be one of the smallest, if not the smallest working radar detectors available today.

    Of course, size may be relevant, but it is what is inside the package that really counts. So let's check the feature set.

    Detects all radar and laser guns. Check. This is the most basic function of a radar detector, is it not? How well it detects them remains to be seen, but at least, to some degree, Cobra has this one covered.

    Provides 360 degree detection. Check. Okay, wait. 360 degree detection of what? Radar, laser or both? We are assuming it's laser here, but it isn't specifically defined on Cobra's web site, so who knows. Just to be safe, we're going with laser only.

    4 City/Highway Modes. Check. These modes allow you to customize the sensitivity levels to help reduce false alerts. Another important, but standard feature that is all but expected from nearly all radar detectors worth their cost these days.

    Well, those are all really basic features. That's not much to write home about at all, as radar detectors go. But that's only a third of the entire system.

    Cobra_iRadar_App_3.1 - Tools.jpgThe Cobra iRadar App
    This brings us to the iRadar app. This is a free app that is downloaded to the second device in the system, your iPhone or Android™ smartphone. Once the app is downloaded, it connects and communicates with the iRadar detector via Bluetooth from the smartphone. Your phone becomes part of the iRadar Atom, serving as both display and control center. Cobra recently announced plans to release version 3.1, with tweaks and new features to further improve the overall iRadar experience. The feature set provided by this app enhances the basic features of the hardware and makes the iRadar Atom - and your phone - a lot more powerful.

    The iRadar app provides visual alerts from the Cobra iRadar detector itself, effectively serving as a graphic interface for your radar detector, complete with a tools menu, map view, live traffic view and a car finder function. The app adds GPS capability provided by the smartphone to monitor vehicle speed, direction and location. It even monitors vehicle battery voltage. It also displays live radar and laser alerts, information and locations of red light cameras, speed cameras and speed traps. It does this utilizing the third piece of the iRadar system, Cobra's AURA™ database.

    The AURA™ Database
    To complete the iRadar system, Cobra created the AURA™ database, a repository of speed and red light camera notifications, live police locations and other alerts reported by users connected to the network. Access to the database allows users to exchange locations of live police speed traps, speed cameras, red light cameras, and "caution" areas such as dangerous intersections with other members of the iRadar community. According to Cobra, this online iRadar Community boasts nearly one million users, generating 40,000 reports per day.

    These components don't offer much protection on their own. However, when connected together, the iRadar Atom, the app and the AURA™ database combine to become one very powerful radar detection system. All things considered, the iRadar Atom may be small, but when used as intended, it can be a potentially powerful radar/laser/red light camera detector for any driver.

    The iRadar Atom is expected to be available May 2013 at the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $199. Stay tuned to the Buy Radar Detectors blog for its official release.

  • New Cobra SPX Radar Detectors unveiled

    Cobra is an old name in the world of radar detectors. The company is well known as a manufacturer of traffic enforcement detection devices and its products are quite popular with drivers in the mainstream. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Cobra unveiled their latest product line-up. As an authorized Cobra dealer, we want to give you a preview of the latest and greatest coming soon from Cobra.

    The Cobra SPX Line
    Perhaps the biggest news is the revelation of a completely new series of radar detectors, the SPX Line. According to Cobra, this new line features an ultra-compact design that is smaller in size and offers greater performance. Whether the size and performance improvements are in comparison to their current XRS and Vedetta models or to those of their competitors isn't entirely clear, although the company does claim on its web site that their SPX models are "almost half the size" of those manufactured by their competitors. Not having actually seen one yet, I personally can neither confirm or deny this, but as soon as we get our hands on one, we'll do some measuring of our own.

    In addition to an ultra-compact design, Cobra promises the new SPX line will have full feature sets and double the detection range at "highly affordable pricing". Cobra also claims to be using military grade components in these devices. Really? What does that mean? A high end radar detector built to mil spec and priced on the low end? Hmmm. This may be something to watch.

    The new Cobra SPX line will launch with three models: the SPX 5300, SPX 5400 and SPX 5500, respectively. Let's take a quick look at each one.

    SPX5300_LG.pngSPX 5300 (MSRP $99.95) -
    This is the base model in the series. It features 14-Band™ Detection, which according to Cobra means that it detects 7 radar, 6 laser and 1 safety signal, including X, K, Ka Superwide, and Ku Band, VG-2, Spectre I and Spectre IV radar and LTI 20-20, Ultra Lyte, ProLaser, ProLaser III, Stalker LIDAR and Speedlaser laser signals. In other words, it detects all the standard signals that other radar detectors detect. Other standard features include Xtreme Range Superheterodyne® Technology, LaserEye™ 360-degree laser detection, POP detection, Ku band detection, auto mute, Intellimute®, Intellimute Pro®, an Ultrabright Data Display™, five-level signal strength meter, VG-2 immunity, VG-2 Alert®, Safety Alert®, city/highway modes, dim mode, Stay Set Electronic Memory (retains your settings indefinitely, even with the power disconnected), and Radar Detector Feature Trademark Detection™ (okay, I made that last one up). In short, for a base model, it has a lot of basic and a couple of not-so-basic features. Not bad for starters. Expected arrival: April, 2013.

    SPX5400_LG.pngSPX 5400 (MSRP $119.95) -
    This is the middle-of-the-road version. It has all the standard features of the SPX 5300 plus a couple of extras (with trademarks), such as Voice Alert™ and Spectre Alert™, the latter serving a particularly useful purpose to alert you to the use of Spectre I/IV+ radar detector-detectors by law enforcement officials. The SPX 5400 is also Spectre Undetectable, which, while not trademarked (yet) does offer total immunity to Spectre I radar detector-detectors, according to Cobra. So, it detects Spectre while it tries not to make a spectre of itself. For a couple of extra sawbucks, that's not a bad upgrade. We can also expect the SPX 5400 to arrive in April, but Don't Quote Me on That™.

    SPX5500_LG.pngSPX 5500 (MSRP $149.95) -
    This is the top of the SPX line. As such, it has all the features of the previously described models and adds a DigiView® data display upgrade and System Self Test for good measure. It seems that extra cost mostly goes toward the display upgrade as DigiView® is a registered trademark. Since the self test isn't trademarked at all, we will perform a little self test ourselves when it Arrives in April™ (tentatively scheduled) and find out exactly what we're getting compared to the other models.

    The unveiling of new SPX radar detectors is just one of three product announcements Cobra made at CES 2013 in January, but it's certainly a big one. Stay tuned to the Buy Radar Detectors blog for upcoming details on the other two, including the unveiling of the iRadar Atom and more generic features with fancy labels turned into Ridiculously Overbranded Trademarks™.

  • Happy New Year 2013 From Buy Radar Detectors!

    Buy Radar Detectors would like to wish everyone a happy and safe new year! Our offices will be closed for the day on Monday December 31, 2012 and January 1, 2013. If you need assistance please send us an e-mail, visit our Facebook page or give us a call after 8 AM EST Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at (800) 584-1445. Please stay safe while traveling, don't drink and drive, keep your radar detector on, and watch your speed.

  • Beltronics Pro 100 Review

    pro_100.jpgBeltronics recently revamped their Professional Series, retiring old radar detectors and introducing four new ones - the Pro 100, Pro 200, Pro 300 and Pro 500. The Beltronics Pro 100 is the base model in this series and is comparable to its predecessor, the Vector 940. In fact, it has the exact same FCC ID as the 940, which means, for all intents and purposes, it is one.

    As with the 940, the Beltronics Pro 100 features two city modes (standard and "No X"), to adjust the tolerance for false signals. It also has "POP" mode radar detection. Like the 940, it features an alpha-numeric display and voice alerts. Of course, it detects all the relevant radar signals and the types of laser typically in use today.

    pro_100_2.jpgOkay, so if the new radar detector is essentially the same as the older model, why is it considered newer or better? Of course, the Vector Series was discontinued, which automatically labels the 940 "obsolete". But is it? Not really. However, it does look old compared to the slightly sleeker, sharper style of the Pro 100, which can be a rather powerful influence on those shopping for a new radar detector. After all, why buy an older looking model when you can buy a new one?

    Looks aside, the Pro 100 does have a few tweaks to ennhance performance. First, there is improved range. Beltronics claims the Pro 100 has "six times the range of others in its class". What that means is somewhat ambiguous, since some radar detector aficionados consider Beltronics radar detectors to be in a class all by themselves.

    pro_100_3.jpgSecond, according to Beltronics, the Pro 100 is factory optimized for the typical domestic US driver. And the Vector 940 wasn't? Since most of us don't work in a radar detector factory, we really can't say if such a statement is true or not, so we'll give this one to Beltronics.

    Third, what about that new look, anyway? It's nice. Beltronics took the Vector 940 and gave it a sleek shell with a darker color and a durable, rubberized texture that makes it easy to look at and even easier to grip. That alone is a considerable improvement.

    Finally, consider the source. It's Beltronics. Sure, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of its top-of-the-line cousin, the Pro 500, but at the low end the Pro 100 rivals higher-end models produced by other radar detector manufacturers. The ultra-bright LED display with multiple brightness levels including dark mode, over 60 voice alerts, auto and manual muting, VG-2 undetectability, auto memory retention, and general ease-of-use make even the lowest-end Pro 100 a prime choice for drivers in any class. In all, whether it's a Vector 940 or a Pro 100, it's still a Beltronics.

    pro_100_4.jpgThe Pro 100 does have a few minor enhancements, but there is still one clear advantage the Vector 940 has over its replacement: The price. The Vector is no longer manufactured, and as it's availability in the retail market has dwindled, so has the cost. What does this mean for consumers? A great deal. Literally. The Beltronics Pro 100 is a good radar detector at a good price, but the Vector, while still available, is almost the same thing at a real bargain.

    If you're looking for a solid radar detector with great features at an equally great value, the Pro 100 is a good choice. If you're on a budget and need the performance but not the looks, The Vector 940 may be an option. Either way, they are both Beltronics, so which ever way you go, you can't go wrong.

    Here is a comparison chart of all four current models in the Beltronics Professional Series.

  • Beltronics Pro 200 Review

    Thumbnail image for pro_200.jpgIn 2012 Beltronics introduced a new line of radar detectors in their Professional Series. There are currently four models in this series, and while they all share some common, basic features, each offers something a little different from the others.

    Case in point is the Beltronics Pro 200. It includes the core features of the base model, the Pro 100, but adds something more to give it that little extra oomph. In order to understand what that is and what it means, we need to know where this radar detector essentially came from.

    pro_200_2.jpgAs mentioned in the Beltronics Pro 300 review, The Professional Series itself is essentially a makeover of the previous line. As the newer Pro 300 is basically a tweaked up RX65, the Pro 200 is one from the Vector line, the Beltronics Vector 955, to be exact. This was reasonable. The 955 was a popular detector that held its own, with over 60 digital voice messages, Digital Signal Processing, 3 city modes and compatibility with the Cincinnati Microwave ZR4 laser Defense System. It featured full radar detection on X, K, Superwide Ka bands, instant-on (Pulse) detection and POP mode. It also had multiple laser sensor diodes for instant front and rear laser protection. It had great performance, especially for the price. To carry all that over to the Pro 200 makes sense, so they did.

    pro_200_3.jpgBeltronics took their Vector 955 radar detector, tweaked it with 8x the range of other radar detectors in its class, added Traffic Signal Rejection (TSR) filtering, and repackaged it as the Pro 200. Not that it's a bad thing. On The contrary, I think it worked out rather well. The 955 was a solid performer, to be sure, but I was not at all impressed with the the old Vector look. It just wasn't my style. In my opinion, the 955 looked, well, old. Beltronics gave the Pro 200 a hard, rubberized coating and a more stylish design. The Pro 200 looks new. I think that was the biggest improvement of all.

    Like the other Professional Series models, the Pro 200 sports an ultra-bright alphanumeric display with multiple brightness settings, including Dark Mode, and is visible from almost any angle. It can has AutoMute so you don't have to mute it yourself.

    Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for pro_200_4.jpgThe Pro 200 package includes the standard items and is about what you would expect, with a quick-release windshield mount, coiled SmartCordâ„¢ power cord, quick reference card and a one year manufacturer warranty. It's available to ship directly from Buy Radar Detectors.

    The Beltronics Pro 200 Radar Detector isn't original, nor is it particularly unique compared to its predecessors as Beltronics radar detectors go, but that's okay. It's not getting older, it's getting better. And that makes it a winner.

    For A quick comparison chart of all four current models in the Beltronics Professional Series, read the Beltronics Pro 100, Pro 200, Pro 300, and Pro 500 Comparison.

  • Happy Holidays 2012 from Buy Radar Detectors!

    radarticket2.jpg
    Buy Radar Detectors wishes everyone safe and happy holidays! Our offices will be closed on Monday December 24, and Tuesday, December 25, 2012. If you need assistance please send us an e-mail, visit our Facebook page or give us a call after 8 AM EST Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at (800) 584-1445. Please stay safe while traveling, remember to keep your radar detector on and watch your speed.

  • Video introduction to the Escort Redline Radar Detector

    Searching for a radar detector with uncompromising performance and undetectability? Check out this video introduction to the Escort Redline Radar Detector. The Redline and other Escort radar detectors are available to ship from our warehouse at Buy Radar Detectors. Presented by Danny Feemster.

  • A video introduction to the Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector

    This video presents an overview of the Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector, including key features. The 9500ix and other Escort radar detectors are available to ship from our warehouse at Buy Radar Detectors. Presented by Danny Feemster.

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