Quest For Seven
Join Date: Oct 2006
Member Number: 3236
Thanked 2,786 Times in 1,132 Posts
Re: Looking for a good radar detector...
This is what I found from a quick search. Not sold on the valentine.
The Valentine does have the advantage of having dual antennas, allowing its directional arrows identify the direction that the radar is coming from. However, Radar Roy and other reviewers have all agreed, that the filtering on the Valentine 1 is inferior. So much so that in the November 2004 issue of Autoweek magazine's review, they called the Valentine 1 the "Chicken Little of radar detectors".
One of the best independent reviews we have ever seen concerning the comparisons between the Escort, Bel and Valentine radar detectors was performed by Bob (The Veil Guy) and his wife Lisa. It is titled The Ultimate Real-World Radar Detector Review '05 and is posted on his website LaserVeil.com. Bob and Lisa examined the real-world performance of these top three radar detectors during a 2300 mile trip that covered five states, in which they encountered virtually every form of radar/laser speed enforcement currently in use today. This extensive report covers price, quality, display, alert, performance along with other important features.
In Bob's report, he ranked the Beltronics RX65 as the the top performer " Think of the Bel as a high-performance sports car that can act as daily driver .
May just be an old article though.
Then of course you might just want to save the money you spend on a detector to pay your speeding tickets.
One of the best-kept secrets of the radar detector industry has been the substandard performance of many new detectors--regardless of brand or price--in countering the latest police radar guns. The new radar guns share three characteristics which, together, have been causing endless headaches for detector designers--not to mention lead-footed drivers.
These new "smart" radar guns use DSP, digital signal processing, making them lightning-fast. In a recent test of front-line police radars, in stationary mode (parked at roadside) I found it possible to put them on RF Hold, not transmitting but ready to fire and, when a target approached, with a press of a button I could transmit, confirm a target speed and lock it in less than 0.40 second. Clairvoyance isn't required to guess the outcome of an encounter like this.
These new digital radar guns are ultra-low powered compared to their forebears and most use Ka band, a lethal combination. The weak signal is tougher to detect and Ka band makes the job even harder because of its extraordinarily wide bandwidth, 2.6 Gigahertz, some 52 times wider than X band. Since radar can be anywhere within the spectrum, detectors must search the entire band looking for signals, a time-consuming process that dramatically lowers sensitivity--and detection range--if conventional signal processing techniques are used.
Many of the new radars have Fastest Speed, allowing the officer to press a button and clock the fastest vehicle, impossible to do with analog radar but easily handled by DSP. No more hiding behind 18-wheelers or slower traffic, bubba.
Not that even the best radar detector will make you invulnerable. Most new owners are thrilled when their detector goes off before a radar-equipped cruiser pops into view. But on other occasions the warning inexplicably is too late to be useful. And they're baffled by frequent K- and Ka-band false alerts when there isn't a police radar within 30 miles. Eventually they upgrade, figuring: If it's the most expensive, it must deliver the best protection, right?
Not necessarily. And if you happen to pick a model that's lousy at detecting POP-mode radar, you'll need divine intervention to get across some states with your license intact.
The only defense is to spot these new radars before they spot you, a job for a detector with superior Ka-band sensitivity. From an engineering standpoint this is hardly an impossible task although it definitely is expensive. Required are superior engineering, premium components, sophisticated programming and a lot of development time. But judging from the dismal Ka-band performance of many detectors in our past tests (some didn't go off until we were parked next to the radar gun) some manufacturers clearly hadn't responded to the challenge. This begs the question: have the manufacturers finally got a handle on this new threat?
To find out I gathered four high-end detectors from as many companies for a full test. Three were dash-mount models--the Escort Passport 8500 ($300), Beltronics (BEL) Vector 980 ($290, since replaced by the BEL Vector 995 model with similar features and performance) and the Valentine One ($399). The fourth was a three-piece remote that has the distinction of being the most expensive on the market, the K40 SS3000 (about $1400 including installation). (This model has since been replaced by the K40 Calibre model.
Here are the results, listed alphabetically.
Click the link for results. You may be surprised.