750 miles put on a production Escort Passport 9500i in one weekend.

I’ve been so anxious to drive with the latest production version of Escort Passport 9500i, that when I received one this past Friday, I couldn’t wait to start putting some serious miles on it so I took my wife (aka Veil Gal) on a two day driving circuit that included PA, NJ, and DE. All in all, we put on about 750 miles these last two days, encountered a combination of seven pulsed X-band/K-band Police RADAR/Police Laser speedtraps, and have some updates for you guys. Lisa and I were lucky to have been able to hook up with Mike (aka thestaton from the radardetector.net forum) and some friends for a quick bite at TJIFs at Dover.

First. The 127mph real-time speed display limitation has been resolved. We were able to briefly achieve an indicated 130mph on the 9500i before we had to back off.

Second. The Passport 9500i still appears to have signal ramp issues with both X & K band that occur between about 3/10-4/10 strength to 10/10 strength levels – there seems to be little mid-level strength indication during an approach to an X/K RADAR source.

Third. Ergonomically, the 9500i is superior to both BEL STi Driver and Escort Passport 8500 X50 in my opinion. We found little/no pulsating effect of the auto-dimmed LEDs and buttons as we have on the Beltronics STi Driver. The 9500i’s audio is vastly improved over the Escort Passport 8500 X50 in fullness, loudness, and distinct tonal quality.

Fourth. The Passport 9500i feels much more like an 8500 than a BEL RX65 Pro, even though a number of ergonomic features have been incorporated into the 9500i from both the BEL RX-65 Pro and the BEL STi Driver. Despite the oft misconception, Escort radar detectors have a distinctly different personality than Beltronics radar detectors in operational performance.

I will continue to post updates about the Escort Passport 9500i when appropriate.

Veil Guy

Production Escort Passport 9500i Received

We are please to report that we have received a current production model of the newest and high-tech radar detector from Escort. The Passport 9500i arrived today and after a brief spin around town, it appears that the early X and K-band reception/ramp-up idiosyncrasies have not been excised. We will be taking our new 9500i with us on a trip to the Florida highway system next week and will be incorporating this model into our up-and-coming Ultimate Radar Detector Review 2007 (back by popular demand) which will include the latest versions of the Beltronics STI Driver and Valentine 1 radar detectors.

In the meantime, I can’t wait to face-off against the FHP with this new radar detector!

We’ll continue to keep you apprised of our experiences behind the wheel with this fascinating new detector.

Escort Passport 9500i Review

Our review/preview of the upcoming Escort Passport 9500i is now available for your reading pleasure.

This new and innovative radar detector should become generally available in the Feb/March ’06 time frame.

Veil Guy

Escort ‘s New Passport 9500i

While Beltronics has improved their product line-up with the STi Driver, its sister company Escort hasn’t been standing pat with their 8500 X50.

We have managed to get our hands on a pre-production model of the soon-to-be released Escort Passport 9500i.

This model incorporates GPS technology to provide a host of capabilities that no other detector has been able to provide. Namely, user-enabled traffic enforcement trap identification (i.e.; Red light Camera Locations, VASCAR Traps, etc.), known false location auto-muting, and speed sensitive radar sensitivity – all based upon real-time GPS data.

These additional capabilities combined with what appears to be an RX-65-based radar section – along with some features borrowed from the 8500 X50, RX-65 Pro, and the STi Driver – promise to make this radar detector one the nicest units on the market.

We’ll put it through its paces and follow-up with a comprehensive report in the near future.

Veil Guy

Bel STI driver radar detector production to soon go up

Beltronics has indicated to us that the daily production level output of the their hand-assembled STI driver radar detector is slated to double by mid June 2006. For those of you who are waiting for an STI driver, this is promising news as back-order levels have been fairly signficant and new units have been slow to make their way to the marketplace.

If you were wondering whether the Bel Sti Driver was going to ultimately replace their current flagship the RX-65 pro, the answer is no. As we expected, Beltronics will continue offering the RX-65 as their flagship “conventional” radar detector.

As indicated in our initial review of the STI driver, the stealth radar detector is going to be primarily directed towards “professional drivers” (eg: truckers – with an initial focus on truck-stops throughout the US). This appears to be a correct assessment of their strategy.

Expect a thorough performance examination of this unique radar detector in the coming months and a report on our findings in the follow-on to our very popular radar detector review of last year.

Veil Guy

New Radar Detector Comparison Coming

With our annual appearance at SpeedZones rapidly approaching (last week of June) we have procured an arrest-me-red 2006 C6 corvette convertible for this year’s western route of our radar detector review.

This year we are expecting to compare: The latest versions of the best radar detectors currently being produced: Beltronics RX-65 Pro, Beltronics STI Driver, Escort 8500 X50, and the venerable Valentine V1 radar detectors.

Instead of using our 2005 Black Dodge Viper, we wanted to mix-up the American muscle with the latest that Chevy has to provide. All accounts is that this vehicle is as refined as a Porsche.

If that is really true, we are really looking forward to tooling around the roads of New Mexico, rural Arizona and Texas.

Even though petrol is north of $3/gallon, I don’t think I’ll be worring about that…a speeding ticket still eclipses these prices by a signficant margin…Hope we fare as well as we did last time out…Zero tickets…but hey, we weren’t tooling around in a bright red vette!

We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed! We should have a full report available for your reading pleasure, mid-July.

Veil Guy

Police Laser sales up a brisk 76% for 2006 over previous year

2006 is turning out to be a very strong year for police laser.

According to a source close to the acquisition process of traffic monitoring departments around the country and abroad, sales of police laser is growing at an ever-increasing rate.

This is likely due to the following key factors:

1) Older police radar guns may be replaced with newer police laser guns as they rotate out of service.
2) Police laser is getting much cheaper to own and operate. To wit, two new police laser guns from Kustom Signals have broken the $2000 mark and are now priced competively with some police radar units. Other manufacturers will likely follow trend to preserve market share.
3) As traffic density continues to climb in many areas, police laser provides inherent advantages in being able to track single vehicle single lane speed better than police radar.
4) Police laser is more flexible in a wider variety of targeting situations than police radar.
5) Traffic departments are finally getting acclimated to police laser.
6) Challenges in court/post-citation are less frequent than their radar counterparts as laser speed acquisition is more precise and less prone to operator error.
7) Court approval for police laser usage is now widespread.
8) Police laser guns are lighter and easier to operate than they used to be and are now very easy to operate.
9) Only the top performing laser detectors provide any useful warning to police laser usage.
10) Without countermeasures (VEIL/laser jammers) the top radar detectors provide little useful advanced warning to their owner.

Bottom line: Your chances of encountering a police laser speed trap is going up this driving season…Be prepared for it.

Veil Guy.

PS: Missed a previous article? Check out the veilguy’s blog to get caught up.

A New Reason to Mount the Valentine 1 Low

I was drving on the PA NorthEast extension and Interstate 80 on a two and half hour drive tonight and during the drive devised a new (and I believe) better way to drive with my trusted friend, the V1.

I mounted the radar detector low-midway on the windshield left of center and in clear view of my right eye.

I love to drive with music (I was listening to a mellow CD by David Sandborn) at a pretty decent level. I have sometimes been burned by having the music drown out the sound of the V1 even at maximum level. Can you imagine explaining to the citing officer the reason you were caught speeding was you were listening some musical score and not your detector! Trust me, I don’t believe you’ll find many sympathizing police officers.

If you have my reviews of the Valentine V1 radar detector , you know I am a huge fan of their audio capability…I believe they are the standard by which all other detectors should be measured.

We’ll now I have found a new way to have my cake and eat it too.

However, as I already stated, I have been burned by relying on the sound when I listen to music at elevated levels.

Valentine also has class leading light indicators on their detectors. Between the arrows which clearly indicate the direction of the radar(s) source, the visual signal strength meter also provides incredibly usable and accurate signal strength indication.

By mounting the detector low or low-mid, I have found that I can actually react quicker by site than by sound. When I am on the highway, especially in the evening, I don’t particularly care about which band of radar I am being pelted with…only that I can slow down before being nailed.

This setup allows this…and enables me to enjoy my music.

I have now come to appreciate the Valentine 1 in a whole a new way…Really good stuff!

When I came into town, I found the radar detector alerting more often to the ever-present door openers. We’ll with the radar detector in this configuration, the alerts were instantly “muted” because the volume was all the way down…what a relief!

Try it, next time you find yourself in the evening on some highway (or going across town).

You just may like it…a lot!

Happy and safe motoring.

Veil Guy

Good Friday to everyone

Hard to believe that Easter is already upon us…time is flying.

I had an interesting conversation with Craig Peterson today of Peterson Publishing.

For those of you who don’t already know it, I am a huge fan of Craig’s literary work…He has a natural talent for writing stories that are not only fun to read but are also very informative.

I have read his book entitled Fast Driving (Without Tickets) and have found it one of the most enjoyable and illuminating works on the subject. At any rate (no pun intended), you may also know I have been encouraging Craig to write a follow-up to that great book.

Well today, Craig has informed me that while a sequel is in development, he has written some smaller “articles” on specific issues related to ever advancing sophistication of traffic enforcement and what we can all do to mitigate it – that he can publish more quickly than a full-length book. That’s a good thing because I would like to hear what new experiences has that can benefit us as enthusiast drivers.

I will share more details with you guys (gals) when I get it.

If its anything like his first book, I can’t wait to read what he has to share with us.

Wishing you all a safe and prosperous Easter!

Veil Guy

What’s exciting & new with police laser (LIDAR)

New Police Laser/LIDAR is Coming to a Road New You

It’s nice that mild weather is finally upon us…although I have no complaints about the “warm” winter we just had.

Now that we are approaching the “drop-top” season, it’s good to know what new forms of threats we will all be facing this driving season:

Laser Atlanta has made some recent improvements to their police LIDAR gun line-up. The have recently implemented “jam” detection on the latest iteration of their guns which display “JA3” to inform the officer that their gun is being actively interferred with.

As usual, we don’t expect VEIL to generate such “jams error codes” as VEIL’s doesn’t “jam” but simply prevents/reduces the ability of laser gun’s to see their own reflection. This exploits a phenomenon that happens normally with different colored vehicles so driver’s using VEIL shouldn’t be concerned with this new feature.

…Besides most states don’t have laws against the use of active laser jamming anyway (regulated by the FDA for “eye-safety”), unlike jamming police RADAR (which is regulated by the FCC).

Laser Atlanta apparently has made some software updates to their stealth-mode operation which was supposed to render the one shipping laser jammer series that has demonstrated that it is capable of defeating stealth mode – the Blinder M20 and M40 Xtreme series – ineffective.

However, at a recent test, Blinder apparently still thrwarted the ability of the new gun as well and still provided jamming. Kudos to Blinder for being resilient! If you have been following VEIL’s history, you already know that VEIL does especially well against stealth mode anyway so if you already own one of the other top rated laser jammers, just get VEIL and you should be set.

Laser Atlanta remains the long-distance champ and I have seen it produce accurate readings approaching 10,000 feet (one through a windshield, at that!)…That’s nearly TWO MILES, folks! Simply breathtaking performance from a police laser gun (and is still one of my favorites because of its engineering prowess). They conservatively under-rate their gun’s capability to merely 4000 feet! Nice touch guys…you’re a class act.

Kustom Signals has some exciting new police laser guns called the Pro Lite and Pro Lite+ which is pricing less than $1500 and works like a pair of binoculars which can be worn about the neck.

Some officers who have worked with the new gun, love it for its ease of use and ergonomic friendliness. Since Kustom is the first gun to be priced competitively with RADAR guns AND is a pleasure to work with, we expect them to become quite popular indeed…Is this the beginning of the end for RADAR? Only time will tell (I seriously doubt it). But, police laser popularity should continue to grow…and at an even greater rate, which is a good thing for them but can be for you as well, if your are equipped with VEIL!

Stalker has a made some recent software updates to improve upon their performance, but may have some “issues” to work out with it.

I don’t know specifically what’s up with the guys from
Laser Technology (they probably prefer it that way!) – the original inventors of laser speed detection and measuring equipment, but we can be sure they’re not sitting on the laurels with their impressive LTI UltraLyte series of police lasers. LTI produces variations of the laser guns, including some of which are protecting our men and women in combat and our friends in black on the street…thank you all for your service in keeping us safe every day.

The LTI UltraLyte series of police lasers have the capability of manned or un-manned operation tied into a digital imaging processor which allows for the capture of vehicle motion data from 50 to 170 meters away and automatically records a high-resolution full-color image of a violator’s plate…their exact speed…for evidence. (I’m paraphrasing).

LTI’s systems are multi-lingual (cool stuff) to cater to markets abroad that deploy photo lidar. LTI also has solutions for enforcing multiple speed limits on the same carriage-way and HOV lanes as well as monitoring stop-sign runners. A pretty deversified bunch of innovate high-tech equipment, indeed.

Photo LIDAR and is also coming in the form of laser drones…if you thought automated red light cameras and photo radar cameras were bad enough, look out. Automated photo laser may soon be “issuing” speeding tickets all on their own…we’ll keep you posted on this developing story…

Even more the reason to invest in countermeasures like VEIL and Blinder.

That about covers it for now. Until next time…safe motoring!

Veil Guy