Another Look at POP RADAR

UPDATED: 10 MAY 07

For all the headaches that POP has created, I have yet to encounter a single speed trap actually using it.

This situation is not entirely unlike the problems created — for the detector and jammer industry — by stealth-mode police lidar from LaserAtlanta.

Like K-band POP, stealth-mode LIDAR is not consistently detectable by any other radar detector than the Valentine 1 and up until fairly recently wasn’t detectable (and jammable as a result) by any jammers other than Blinder. It just so happens that VEIL is extremely effective against this form of police laser, so not many worries here.

But, I haven’t actually come across a speed trap where stealth-mode has actually been used, so having a detector not being able to detect it or a jammer not being able to detect/jam it, isn’t really a handicap. I am feeling more and more like this each day I drive about POP RADAR.

For all the fanfare that has been generated by POP RADAR (for which the technology has been around for some time), it has done nothing really positive. It has instead, has upset the whole radar detector industry, which is most unfortunate, because I very much doubt many of us will actually ever encounter it. The dynamic that this technology has created may be contributing to another potential problem…radar detectors built to detect POP RADAR are susceptible to radar emissions of a similar nature — some of the new ACC/ADAS systems coming online, today. These systems, while well-meaning, are misguided in their design as they operate on the same frequency band as police K-band radar.

In fact there is one form of POP that operates four times quicker than regular POP RADAR — at a blistering 16ms. The only detector that has been able to sniff this form out is again the V1, but it generally has about a one in ten chance of doing so. I was concerned initially about it, but no longer. As Steve has correctly stated in one of the comments below, you probably have about the same chance as getting hit by a bolt of lightning as being tagged with POP in either form (16ms or 67ms)!

*Reprinted with permission from the Guys of Lidar.

The threat of POP today is feeling more like a marketing ploy to sell certain police radar guns, than a bona-fide tool to measure speed in a furtive manner and I can only hope that it will fade into the history books of ideas that looked better on paper than in actual practice.

For that there is police laser, with which drivers may legally be ticketed.

Further, one doesn’t need POP to obtain speed readings with minimal chances of alerting many other drivers. I have seen it [and so have you] and its called instant-on radar (which has been around for decades) from behind. I have seen very capable troopers in NJ utilize an older but effective K-55 X-band police radar from behind in a manner which provides very little advanced warning to approaching drivers and only the best detectors at X-band (V1, RX65, STi Driver) provide the greatest chance of spotting it before it’s too late.

I seriously doubt that officers equipped with such guns feel the need (or are actually trained) to take the additional time to navigate through menus and take additional steps to properly engage POP and use it in their day-to-day monitoring of traffic in a manner that is consistent with the manufacturer’s own guidelines. Perhaps when they first got them and there was this initial “buzz”, but not any longer.

Why do I think that is a fair assessment? Because there are plenty of drivers out there who either do not drive with a detector nor possess a premium or ultra-premium radar detector. In otherwords, there are plenty of fish in the pond, so to speak, so there really is no need to take the extra steps or deal with the additional aggravation of operating radar in POP-mode. I really think it is that simple. Traffic enforcement has had plenty of business deploying radar for decades against drivers who have used radar detectors for about as long a time, so the likes of POP really won’t change that.

In fact, I would argue that the deterrent traffic departments wish to achieve occurs when speeders are pulled over and receiving a ticket in plain view of everyone and not prior [by their particular method]. I know from experience to respect certain stretches of highway regardless of the traffic monitoring mode utilized, as I am sure you have, regardless of what radar detector is used.

I feel the same way about automated speed enforcement technology — without the officer actually pulling over the offender in plain-site for everyone to see — there really is no direct feedback mechanism to other drivers to let them know that a certain area is being monitored. If the name of the game is to slow drivers down, then what better way to do that than with traffic stops with lights blaring. Again that is where the deterrent lies and not with the technology, per se.

It is painful to see detector manufacturers spend the time, money, and resources on coming up with solutions to problems which really don’t need to exist nor serve a productive purpose.

Veil Guy

©2007 Veil Corporation. All rights reserved. No part may be duplicated without expressed written permission of the author.

Interaction Between POP Reception in Radar Detectors and certain Collision Avoidance Systems

UPDATED 10 MAY 07:

According to AudiWorld, the Q7’s side-assist system is located in the rear bumpers on both sides of the vehicle and monitors traffic to the side and rear of the car.

As of this morning, the feedback I have received from Valentine Research concerning this issue is that the side assist systems employed on the Audi Q7 utilizes a K-POP-like signal profile and since the Valentine 1 is the only radar detector that can actually detect K-band POP consistently (67ms variety, not 16ms), it alerts to the presence of this system – which is a bona-fide source of K-band radar – where other detectors less capable of this reception mode, can not.


*Reprinted with permission from Guys of Lidar
.

I would expect that the V1 would tend to alert frequently to this radar-source from within the confines of the Audi Q7, which would not really be a workable situation, IMO. In this situation, V1 owners who drive such equipped vehicles could disable the side-assist option and/or disable the J-function as a workaround for the near-term.

On the surface, this may appear to be a “flaw” in the Valentine 1, but that is not the case. In fact, the opposite holds true – it is actually a reflection of the high sensitivity this detector has to K-band POP mode. I haven’t been able to confirm whether or not disabling the POP reception (J-function) will eliminate this alerting.

This type of “falsing” is more of a challenge than the typical alerts one gets from stationary K-band door openers and the like that are readily identifiable as such — by listening to the signal ramp and observing the arrows (from front to side to rear) as one passes these sources.

These kinds of alerts appear more like a bonafide threat — in the form of a cruiser operating K-band radar in the flow of traffic — making it much harder for the driver to make a relatively quick distinction.

Fortunately, this system on the Q7 that operates in the K-band range is pointed towards the rear. It’s cruise control (Distronic) apparently operates at 76.5Ghz. Had that system been designed to operate on the same frequency as the side-assist, the problem for us drivers, who use the V1, would be compounded further as additional alerts would appear from the back initially and one would have to slow down and wait until one was overtaken by a vehicle so equipped before realizing that it was not a cruiser or unmarked vehicle operating K-band radar to nab would-be speeders from behind.

Suffice it to say, Valentine Research is aware of this potential issue and is working on addressing it in a manner that does not compromise the detector’s performance and I trust they will do so — long before this technology becomes more commonplace.

To read more about the particulars of Side-Assist technology — which, at the moment appears to be a $500USD option — one may refer to the following online sources of information:

Animated Video of Side-Assist in Use
Audi World

Veil Guy

©2007 Veil Corporation. All rights reserved. No part may be duplicated without expressed written permission of the author.

Audi’s Q7 side-assist and K-band POP Reception Don’t Mix Well

UPDATED: 10 MAY 07

Last week my wife and I were returning home from a night on the town; I treated Lisa to a nice birthday dinner at Fogo de Chão in downtown Philadelphia. If you are interested in an interesting dining experience, I recommend this venue, just watch the L’Esprit at $685 a glass…and I thought that Louis XIII was a bit pricey at $185!

As we were making our way west on Route 422 towards Reading, my Valentine 1 started alerting fiercely to a K-band source and continued to do so for about five minutes. Its arrows hunted around indicating the source of radar was from the front, then side, then rear, then front again and repeated this sequencing over and over again. I never experienced this kind of behavior from this detector when there was clearly no state trooper in our direction of travel. In PA, state troopers are only permitted to operate radar from a stationary position.

I powered up the Beltronics STi Driver and to its credit, it remained totally silent. Repowering up the Valentine 1, it began alerting to this unknown K-band radar source. By now, I had discounted the possibility that the Valentine 1 was defective and began to search out what was the likely source of this alert.

It didn’t take too long to do so. As I came behind a dark gray SUV the Valentine 1 alerted to K-band at full strength. When I changed lanes and/or backed enough for another vehicle to pull in front of me and behind this mysterious SUV, the signal strength dropped considerably.

Hmmm…What kind of vehicle could possibly cause the V1 to go haywire? I got my answer as I passed this gray SUV. On the back I saw the logo – Q7. So this was the Audi Q7 SUV, a vehicle which has two radar-based driver assistance options. One is an adaptive cruise control–which is stated to operate at 76.5Ghz and side-assist–which aids drivers with alerts to objects/vehicles in blind-spots. According to AudiWorld’s Q7 Review, this side-assist operates in the 24Ghz range which appears very close to K-band’s 24.1Ghz. Jeez…and I bet you thought door openers were bad enough.

At any rate, be advised that if you ever get very strange alerts from your Valentine 1 on K-band that you can’t seem to identify or locate in the usual fashion, keep an eye out for an Audi Q7 . You will probably be overtaking it fairly quickly. Once past it, things quiet down to normal.

And if you are considering a purchase of a new Audi Q7 in the very near future, you may want to consider arming yourself with a Beltronics STi Driver or another top-flight radar detector that won’t alert to the Q7’s radar-based sensors or disabling the system (which I trust is possible) until VR comes up with a solution. I will pass my findings on to the fine engineers at Valentine Research to see if there are alternative options.

UPDATE: 3 MAY 07 – It must be noted, since this issue may be tied to K-POP reception, and to be absolutely fair to the V1, POP reception on the STi was OFF, at the time I powered it up to see if it would alert, as well.

Additional Related Reading:

Veil Guy

©2007 Veil Corporation. All rights reserved. No part may be duplicated without expressed written permission of the author.

‘Jaw dropping’ performance from the Beltronics STi Driver, Round II

It happened once again, coming home from a business dinner at about 9:20pm, this evening. This time it was the BEL STi Driver and the Valentine One pitted against a Pennsylvania State Trooper who was hiding in a very wide median strip using instant-on K against westbound drivers of Route 422 towards Reading.

This time the margin of advantage to the STi Driver was about 3-4 seconds while I was initially traveling at about 75-80mph in a 55 zone. Got the initial alert of K on the STi Driver followed then by the Valentine One. Proceeded at a more sedate pace of 60mph for about another 4-5 seconds and then nothing.

Knowing the area well, I usually don’t get K alerts here unless there is a speedtrap. Sure enough about 15 seconds later, I spot a cruiser sitting in the center – which is about 200 feet in width with trees and bushes. And then almost an instant after that a full blast of K-band which instantly pegged the signal strength meters of both detectors.

To be sure, both provided ample warning to this particular ambush, but – and this is really the amazing part – I also believe that the STi Driver actually alerted to one additional trigger-pull of instant-on radar to the motorists ahead than did the Valentine 1 and at a point where I didn’t have a perfect line-of-sight to the patrol car ahead.

This was a similar kind of scenario, a couple of week ago, with the NJ trooper, who was running an instant-on X-band speedtrap, where the advantage was with the STi Driver at about 7 seconds. I suspect that it too had picked up an additional trigger-pull of instant-on radar to the motorists who were ahead of me on that Interstate at about a distance that was a bit greater at the time of that initial alert. In this instance there wasn’t a clear line-of-sight, to the NJ State Trooper, either.

Again, breathtaking performance and I believe these are the first times I have actually witnessed another radar detector [other than the V1] achieving such a performance level in all my years of driving with them.

I will be looking forward to my upcoming trip to Florida and back to see how the STi Driver does against instant-on Ka traps. The one encounter that I had in Florida several weeks ago gave the advantage to the V1 by about 2 seconds – which was pretty big considering the nature of that speedtrap and the fact that I was cruising at about 90mph in a posted 70 zone, but that was with the STi Driver with POP ON. Now that POP is off and the performance decidedly has gone up, I’ll be anxious to see how it performs with this configuration.

If it’s performance with X and K are any kind of indicator, the results could really be illuminating, indeed.

More to come…

How to quiet-down your Valentine One without giving up performance

Yesterday (Sunday), I drove my usual Northeasterly route – which takes me through parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey that go by some heavily populated areas and heavily traveled highways.

Oftentimes, it is in these kinds of areas, where the Valentine One’s extreme sensitivity can become…well…tiring…to put it nicely. Sure the V1 alerts with high frequency to the presence of both X-band and K-band door openers and the like which every strip mall in northern Jersey seems to have, but it is also not uncommon for the Valentine alerts with a relatively high number of Ka-band falses – which come from a plethora of cheap and poorly insulated radar detectors that are operated by the majority of the great motoring unwashed (please forgive my hubris).

Wouldn’t it be nicer world if everyone who thought about owning and operating a radar detector – to potentially save them thousands of dollars – would be willing to drop a few more dollars to really have a chance at accomplishing such a thing [by owning an ultra-premium radar detector] while at the same time providing relief to guys like us, who have already made that wise decision?

Pollution is everywhere in these extra-urban areas, it seems – noise pollution, air pollution, and yes RADAR pollution. Things, of course, may be getting better (at least on the air front), but wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to easily abate some of this without having to wait for the driving public to wake-up to its senses and turn their RADAR polluting devices (cheap radar detectors) into solid waste?

Well, there just may be a short-cut to that nirvana, at least with the Valentine One. That short-cut is entitle ‘J-feature’ disabled. Some of you may be wondering, ‘what the heck is J-feature disabled’? Very simply, it is the turning off of POP radar reception. In all of the years that POP radar has been out (now several), I have yet to encounter a real speedtrap that has been employing POP radar as a precursor to standard instant-on police radar usage.

This, of course, is not to say that this specialized operating mode of a particular series of police radar guns manufactured by MPH Industries is not being utilized or more likely mis-utilized somewhere in the country, it’s just that I have yet to encounter one in the many of thousands of miles that I have traveled.

Instead, what I have encountered, frequently, is either reduced operating performance of many of my radar detectors when operated with the reception mode enabled or one particular radar detector that, despite it’s quieter nature as compared to previous versions (when POP reception was first incorporated into it), is a noisier detector than it has to be.

Yes, I am referring to my Valentine One. More times than not, when I travel on busy highways like I-78, I-287, I-80, I-95, GSP in northern NJ and the outskirts of New York City the Valentine frequently alerts to Ka sometimes followed by the J[unk] alarm muting sequence, sometimes not. At any rate, it all can become pretty fatiguing.

By disabling POP reception, with programming, which is not the default mode of this detector, I have found that my V1 is much more quiet and more livable as a result in these areas. Not once in almost 300 miles today through very heavily traveled roadways did I receive one Ka-false nor J alert. Other times through these same areas, such alerts routinely happen totaling 8-9, on average, a day.

In fact, for now, I am going to leave my Valentine in this quieter mode (as well as my other radar detectors). What I give up for all this peace and quiet is POP reception. But, I keep my blazing sensitivity to all standard police radar band forms of X, K, Ka, and of course the blistering laser reception ability of this radar detector is unaffected in any event.

If I ever end up getting ticketed by some knucklehead operating only POP radar to obtain my speed, I’ll know it, because the detector would not have gone off. I don’t believe that POP radar can be used to legally issue speeding tickets in and of itself, anyway, and what better way to collect that kind of information at the time of stop. I’d sure like to hear the explanation of the offending-officer to the court why he thinks his in-admissible evidence should be allowable. In other words, I really don’t believe that could really ever happen.

My advice* to all existing post-POP owning Valentine One owners, is to try disabling the J operating mode…You may like it and like it enough to leave it off.

My advice* to all owners of Escort Passport 8500 X50, Escort Passport 9500i, Beltronics RX-65 Pro, and Beltronics STi Driver radar detectors is to leave POP reception off so you can not only enjoy a quieter radar detector, but a generally higher performing one, at that.

*Of course, have POP reception enabled, if you are certain you are deriving a benefit from it in the unusual case you actually encounter POP augmented radar speedtraps and receive advanced notification to them with it on.

How to achieve ‘jaw dropping’ performance from the Beltronics STi Driver

It’s pretty late Sunday night and I just got back from a day’s worth of driving testing out the relative performance of both the Bel STi Driver (vA4.M9) and the Valentine One (v3.826) and I am pleased to share my recent experiences with you.

I have now driven with this detector for several weekends over recently and have accumulated almost 1600 miles on this new detector and all I can say is, WOW! What a difference a year makes. It’s very clear to me that the ‘boys’ at Beltronics know what they are doing.

The very first model I drove with showed a solid detector in the making, but appeared to be in some need of should we say, ‘some sorting out.’ Well. it appears that in the interim of 12 or so months, that Beltronics did just that – they sorted this detector out. I have driven throughout four states with this detector – Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania – and have encountered all forms of police radar with this detector (X, K, Ka (33.8Ghz), Ka (34.7Ghz), Ka (35.5Ghz) with most of the speedtrap encounters being of the instant-on kind and I believe it’s safe to say that the Bel STi Driver’s performance on these fronts in many cases appears to actually exceed the performance of the mighty Valentine One, particularly on X & K band and particularly with this detector set at its default radar reception operating mode of POP RADAR detection OFF*.

In this mode we have found that we are being notified sooner and farther away from known drone radar sources than with the Valentine One and on a regular basis.

Even without POP mode enabled, we are finding that it’s X-band reception performance outperforms the Valentine One sometimes dramatically so – for example, we once received a full seven second plus advanced notification – to an instant-on speedtrap using X-band on I-195 Westbound outside of Trenton, NJ. A seven second advantage to [the Valentine One on] an instant-on trap – when one is traveling at 85-90mph – is pretty huge. To be sure, those types of margins didn’t and don’t always occur and oftentimes they essentially tie, but to see these types of advantages appear more the once over the course of three weekends and about 1600 miles is notable, indeed.

Valentine has pretty much dominated X-band performance, historically, with the RX-65 Pro almost essentially equaling it in many cases. With the new STi Driver, it appears the Beltronics has actually raised the bar a bit on this reception frequency and its is simply breathtaking to behold, really.

Both K-band and Ka-band reception appears to benefit further by leaving POP disabled on this detector. K-band reception also appears to exceed, on a regular basis, the capability of my Valentine One. We need more time with Ka encounters before forming an opinion, but I am going to look forward to putting some serious miles on this detector to ferret out those details.

Does that mean, to me, that the Valentine One is going away any time soon? Not on a bet, but it is truly marvelous to experience this level of performance from another radar detector manufacturer. I always liked the Beltronics RX-65 Pro from the first day I drove with it and it is quickly becoming apparent to me that Beltronics is not going to sit on its laurels in any way shape or form. They are pushing the envelope and we enthusiast drivers are the beneficiaries.

Forget about the stealth-nature of this detector (immune to VG-2 and Stalcar/SPECTRE III RDDs) – that’s just a nice bonus. The levels of performance this radar detector is achieving is absolutely stunning!

My recommendation to the serious driving enthusiasts out there, is add this radar detector to your arsenal, now.

We’ll [You’ll] have more, when we get it

*Thanks to Steve (co-founding member of the Guys of Lidar) – who suggested that I try out the latest version of the STi Driver on highway mode with POP disabled – I can share these results.

Escort Passport 9500i AutoSensitivity Mode Beats a Tylenol

It’s just what the doctor ordered.

No, I am not talking about an aspirin, I am talking about Escort’s innovative new speed-sensitive sensitivity mode that has premiered with the Passport 9500i.

Maybe, its just me – perhaps, in my later years, I am going soft. I find myself driving automatics more than I am driving stick. I am favoring ‘luxury’ cars more than hot sports cars at the rental counter. I am listening more to Rachmaninoff than Rush.

…Or, maybe it’s the world around me – I find myself among more strip malls, more stop lights, more traffic jams, more SUVs with distracting TV screens in front of me, more drivers on cel phones, more automated door openers.

Either way, I am finding driving more stressful around town than I remember 26 years ago when I first started tooling around with my very first (the original) Escort radar detector. Back in the day, things were simpler – only X & K radar to worry about and in steady-state mode; Instant-on (technically called RF Hold), while available, wasn’t readily deployed. And the occasional door openers that were found operated strictly on X-band.

Enough romanticizing about the past, we live in a different world today…Which brings me to the Escort Passport 9500i and headache relief.

For those of you who have read The Ultimate Radar Detector Review 2005, you know that I continue to use the Valentine 1 as our reference radar detector. Its consistently stellar detection performance across all police RADAR and police LIDAR signals justifies it place at the top of the radar detector hierarchy.

However, all the extreme sensitivity and philosophical tendencies to report all X & K signals – a strong asset on the open-highways – can quickly become a liability when driving in more densely populated areas around town. This is not the fault of the V1. If anyone is to blame, its the FCC which allows for all those automated door openers to operate on both X & K-band. If you want to know how many door openers and their approximate locations within any given strip mall, the V1 is the most capable radar detector for doing so.

These ‘falses’ aren’t really falses at all. They are bona fide radar sources. They just happen not to be police radar sources.

Radar detector manufacturers have had to deal with this dilemma for some time…and I would imagine it is one of the most challenging things a high-end radar detector must do – provide extreme sensitivity to legitimate radar threats while at the same time rejecting/not reporting every signal which they receive. It’s a complex task of signal processing that takes place to help make that determination and it happens in a milliseconds time. Both Beltronics and Escort have arguably the most advanced ‘filtering’ algorithms of all radar detectors – manifested in the Passport 8500 X50, Beltronics STI-Driver, and Beltronics RX-65 Pro detectors.

This dilemma is not entirely unlike the one that tire manufacturers have to constantly struggle with in their design of high performance all-season tires which need to provide stellar adhesion in the dry and wet, while at the same time maximizing traction in the winter (by balancing two opposing means of doing so).

Escort has devised an even more elegant and effective solution to addressing this long-standing conundrum. By dialing back the ‘sensitivity’ automatically when your vehicle is traveling at a sedate pace that is common on todays crowded secondary roads, Escort enables its owner to have the best of both worlds automaticallyextreme performance when you need it on the highways and a less performance when you don’t. In the latter case, less is more.

Which brings us back to the topic at hand.
Emerging from central Florida into the more populated and congested south west coast, the V1 quickly became tiring as did the 9500i to a lesser extent. To quiet down the 9500i, all I had to do was push one button and ‘voila’ the detector went into its speed-sensitive AutoSensitivity mode. When sitting at long traffic lights in a traffic between two shopping centers, I had to repeatedly reach towards the windshield to hit the manual mute button on the V1. This didn’t always work out since the detector would identify additional radar sources (up to a displayed count 9) which would require additional muting. It gets old very quickly, I must say. Most of the time I simply unplug the unit in those cases – you long-time V1 owners probably know what I am talking about.

With the 9500i, all I hit was one button and only once. Sweet.

When I was approaching the cape I was stuck in traffic on the bridge. The V1 rightly alerted to a weak K-band source that was ahead. It turned out the a patrol vehicle was on the center median facing perpendicular (north) to my west-bound approach around and to the left on the road. The Passport 9500i was silent. Aaaah, reliefthe sound of silence. When switching the detector back to highway mode, the 9500i alert to K-band. Desiring peace and quiet, I returned the 9500i to AutoSensitivity mode. It remained quiet at even 30 feet away and facing directly at the patrol car. It wasn’t until I crossed a 15 foot threshold that the 9500i alerted at a full strength. My approach speed was about 3-4 miles an hour. It feels to me that detector is not actually less sensitive in this mode, but uses a variable squelch mechanism to obtain its silence.

The more I moved at a snail’s pace toward my final destination for the evening, the more I appreciated the Passport 9500i’s new innovative feature as the detector remained silent with every signal to which the V1 alerted. No need for aspirin with this one.

I am warming-up to this detector more every day, I drive with it.

Veil Guy

Don’t stop using the ‘radar detector’ between your ears

As part of continuing series of road adventures with the latest and greatest radar detectors, we are currently doing a driving circuit in the state of Florida to examine the performance of the top performing radar detectors when pitted against the hands of Florida traffic enforcement. Unlike Pennsylvania, Ka-band seems to be the preferred form of police radar. Today we encountered Ka at 34.7Ghz (Stalker) and 35.5 (Kustom,Decatur) operated in both stationery and moving pulsed-modes.

Both the Passport 9500i and Valentine 1 served our interests well, however while cruising at a steady 85mph on West SR80, south of lake Okeechobee in the center of the state we noticed a white car approaching us from the opposite direction. At about 2000 feet I scrutinized the profile of the car. It was a late model Ford Crown Victoria.

Playing it on the safe side, I got off the gas and slowed to about 65mph. Sure enough as the vehicle passed me, I could clearly see that it was a Sheriff’s vehicle with a radar unit mounted inside the vehicle.

The entire time of this encounter, neither detector went off. Rest assured, if I had not been paying attention, my expensive detectors would have more the likely sounded off a full alert of instant-on Ka and I would have been handed a nice fat ticket.

Continuing along my route, I reminded myself that there is no substitute for situational awareness and that no matter how good radar detectors get, they are only a tool. The most important ‘radar detector’ remains the one between your ears.

Veil Guy

Beltronics (BEL) RX-65 Pro Aging Extremely Well

The more I drive with the BEL RX65-Pro from Beltronics, the more I appreciate this sleek radar detector. This detector is thoroughly sorted out, in my opinion.

It consistently provides Valentine-like performance across all the radar bands I encounter on the highways while providing superior ergonomic qualities at the same time. The diminutive RX-65 Pro remains one of my favorite radar detectors of all time.

Veil Guy

Some Gen III (3rd Generation) Police LIDAR (Laser) Guns Present Durability Issues in the Field

For any of you who have read my radar detector reviews, you already know that one of the areas that I like to test radar detectors for X-Band police radar detection performance is on I-78 through Warren Country, NJ during the first 20 miles east of the Pennsylvania border.

Traffic enforcement is consistently pretty fierce on that stretch of highway. This past Saturday afternoon I was examining the real-world performance of Escort’s new Passport 9500i when I came upon a state trooper parked strategically in the center median facing the opposite direction of travel.

Knowing that I had just encroached upon a real speedtrap, I proceeded to the following exit and made a u-turn to drive back west into it to see how the 9500i would do. As I made my approach in the fast-lane, I spotted him again and this time he was perpendicular to the road. To my surprise the 9500i alerted to police LASER, not the X-band I was expecting. Curious as to which gun the officer was using I went down the highway a ways and once again made another u-turn to make what would be my third pass.

I pulled over on the shoulder, got out of my vehicle and approached the officer’s vehicle. He was busy operating the laser gun and was not initially cognizant of my presence. To my shock and surprise it appeared that the officer was using an older LTI (Laser Technology) Marksman 20/20! These older models have been out of production for a good number of years as they have given away to smaller, lighter LTI Ultralyte, Kustom Pro III, Stalker LZ-1, Laser Atlanta S models.

Eventually I managed to get the officer’s attention and after a brief introduction, he explained to me why he was using the older model. Apparently the newer lighter GEN III laser guns (many of whom are comprised of hard plastic casings) are failing in the field from the abusive duty cycles that these devices oftentime see.

The department has found that the older and more solidly constructed police laser equipment is actually lasting longer in the field and providing a longer duty cycle than the newer, smaller, (ie; cheaper) models.

I showed him some of my tricks, including VEIL, which he got a real kick out of. He knew all too well the nature of this cat and mouse game we play!

After an informative and enjoyable discussion, we parted ways and I continued on eastward in search of new speedtraps to “crash” while he returned to his job of “shooting fish in a barrel.”

Veil Guy