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Radar Detector Buyer's Guide - Be On The Lookout!

A Most Wanted List Of Radar Detectors And More

Calin Head
Aug 1, 2009
Photographers: Mike Finnegan
Photo 2/8   |   radar Detectors Buyers Guide girl Cop
The police have come a long way from hiding behind billboards waiting for a speeder to blow by them. Their vehicles are now armed with the latest gadgets to detect drivers hauling ass on the highway. Two can play that game though, and lucky for us, some of that same technology is available to consumers to keep The Man from giving us speeding tickets.
Obviously, the best way to not get busted for speeding is to not speed, but there is no fun in that. You know you're going to speed at some point in your life, so you might as well be prepared for the inevitable. The second best way to not get busted is to buy a device that will warn you when there is a cop in the vicinity using a radar or laser gun. You can also buy a device that will mess up the readings on the cop's machine. While the devices in this buyer's guide do work, we have to warn you that there is a small window of time between the moment that a detector tells you that a cop is pointing his radar gun at a car near you, and the moment that same gun could be pointed at your truck. So you have to stay alert. We compiled this most wanted list of detection suspects to show you the different options available in the way of detectors, jammers and as a bonus, the devices that will point out those new traffic cameras.
Photo 8/8   |   radar Detectors Buyers Guide cop
Tech Tips
How Laser And Radar Guns Work
A laser gun or Lidar (LIght Detection And Ranging) works much like a radar gun, but instead of radio waves it shoots out bursts of invisible light. These light beams will bounce back from a moving target and convert that again into MPH. The reason laser is favored over radar is the beam size. Its beam is about three feet wide at 1,000 feet from the gun and they are only on when the trigger is pulled. The problem with that is the officer has to aim the gun and pull the trigger, so if he is lazy he might not get you.
Radar: A radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging) gun works by shooting a large beam (approximately 250 feet wide at 1,000 feet from the gun) of radio waves out and waiting for some of them to bounce back. If whatever they are bouncing back from is moving, the gun can then calculate that information in miles per hour. Radar guns use X-band, K-band, Ku-band, and Ka-band, but most operate on K or Ka. Also, most of the time radar guns are always on, blanketing the area looking for the bounce back. This makes them less work for the cop to use and easier for you to detect it. That is unless the officer has a new, POP-type gun that works on the K- and Ka-band frequencies. These send out an ultra-fast burst of radar that can go undetected because older detectors were made to ignore or filter out such a short burst of radar.
Something Good To Know
All radar detectors emit a telltale radio wave whenever they are turned on. In states where radar detectors are illegal, police may be equipped with a high-powered radio receiver called the VG that can detect your detector, unless your detector is designed to be undetectable.


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