Asked & Answered
I want a remote too, but I don’t want to give up any protection. For the same reason you see high radio towers, the radar detector antenna needs to be high in the car; it sees over hills better, increasing range.
Mounting down in the grille amounts to a low tower. You also have the problem of traffic ahead blocking the signal. The only time I’ve seen a grille mount outperform a windshield mount was a case where the detector could look under the truck just ahead. Normally, a high mount has an advantage because it’s up where it can see through the windows of other traffic.
Another thing; the really sophisticated direction finding and bogey counting that V1 has requires perfectly synchronized information from the front and rear antenna. It’s possible to maintain that synchronization when the system in broken apart into units at the front and rear of the car, but you pay F-15 prices. My best compromise between maintaining performance on the one hand, and hiding the detector on the other, is the Concealed Display. This keeps V1 in the window where it works great, but operates “dark;” all the light-up warnings are transferred to a small Display that you can locate where only you will see it.
You still have the right to know when you’re under radar surveillance almost everywhere in the US. The exceptions are Virginia, which bans detector use, and nearby Washington, D.C., which bans possession. Canada is much less friendly toward civil liberties. Detectors are banned everywhere except British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
No. Radar jammers are illegal in the U.S. For more information, check the Federal Communications Commission… http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Compliance/Orders/1997/fcc97404.txt
Laser jammers are an intriguing idea from a technical standpoint, but we don’t make them either. Radar and laser detectors are completely passive; they’re merely receivers of signals already in the air. Jammers, on the other hand, cross over the line into electronic combat. We won’t go there.
Once upon a time, when radar detector makers were in one of their Bullet-List wars—that is to say, competing amongst themselves to see who could advertise the longest bullet list of features—they made a big issue of “safety radar.”
There were two competing formats, Safety Alert® and Safety Warning System™ (SWS). But the basics were the same; both depended upon transmitters in official vehicles—police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks—sending out various coded K-band signals that would be picked up by radar detectors. An SWS detector would have the ability to translate these signals into text or voice warnings. Radar detectors without the feature would respond to them as normal K-band alerts.
V1 never had such a feature. My view of it was always the same, “Show me the system.”
Here’s the problem. An expensive transmitter would be needed in those emergency vehicles. Would police and fire departments and ambulance companies ante up something over $1000 to buy a transmitter for each vehicle just to warn a few radar detector users when they were already warning all motorists in the vicinity with very effective sirens?
Two chances of that happening: slim and none.
But the makers of ordinary radar detectors flogged safety radar hard in their ad pages. Escort® and Passport® had their trademarked SafetyPilot™ Technology, complete with a cute little symbol showing a red car in a blue bull’s-eye. It was based on Safety Alert at first, then switched over to SWS.
But now, you might say that Safety Pilot Technology has run off into the ditch. The Passport® 8500 X50—“The Expert’s Choice” according to its advertising—was born without any sort of “safety radar.” Why? One of the company’s spokesmen said. “We decided to stop incorporating that in our detectors because there just isn’t much of it out there.”
Right. That’s what I’ve always said. But they advertised SafetyPilot Technology for years, just as if it had real benefit. And it did—to the company. If you can make your old models obsolete, then loyal customers will feel they should buy the latest. We don’t do that. No V1 we’ve ever made is obsolete. Every one can be upgraded to today’s technology at a reasonable price.
V1 offers superior warning against radar and laser. No red herrings, no froufrou, and no cute little symbols to distract from the only reason to buy a detector in the first place.
One more fact: Some folks think those highway warning signs, usually on trailers, that set off radar detectors are Safety Radar. They aren’t. Instead, they are shams to get around the FCC prohibition on drone transmitters (the anti-speed forces love the idea of drones as a way of annoying radar detector users). There’s no encoded message here, just plain old radar. Still, after years of my competitors advertising Safety Alert and Safety Warning System, I guess I can’t blame folks for expecting to find it somewhere.
Escort® and Passport® are registered trademarks of Escort, Inc. SafetyPilot™ is a trademark of Escort, Inc. SWS™ is a trademark of SWSLC. Safety Alert® Traffic Warning System is a registered trademark of Cobra Electronics Corporation.
How much range, as a general question, is unanswerable, because it depends entirely on the circumstances. In our lab, we work on receiver sensitivity–how weak of a signal can we find?–and in our tests we outperform all others. Car and Driver tests range, and we outperform in their tests too, which confirms our good sensitivity. Radar is a line-of-sight beam, like a light, that’s easily reflected and refracted. Imagine a flashlight beam on a foggy night; you can see the beam a short distance away, even if you aren’t lined up with it, because it reflects off moisture in the air. But your best chance of seeing it a long way off comes when it points straight at you.
Radar range is the same. In outer space, with the beam pointed directly at V1, I’m sure we could find radar 100 miles away. But on earth you never get a straight shot like that. You might get 5 miles in the flats of Texas or Kansas. In the mountains around Asheville, N.C., you might not get a half mile.
Range tends to confuse people because they don’t know all the variables. For example, when you see a radar patrol car, is the beam pointed toward you or away. When it’s pointed away, you have only scattered reflections to look for, so maximum range is likely to be 1/20th of what it would be when toward you, and this assumes no obstructions between the reflector and your antenna.
Range over hills is confusing too. The only signal your detector has to work with is what’s left of the original when it clears the last obstacle. For example, let’s say that V1 has a 3 to 1 range advantage over another detector; that 3 to 1 applies only to what’s left after the hill. If the radar beam has already traveled a great distance, the signal power remaining after the hill may be so weak that 3 to 1 gives you only 100 yards of additional warning. But that 100 yards can be really precious. It can make all the difference. Getting extra seconds of warning in the tight spots is worth more that a mile or two of bragging distance on the easy ones.
Yes, absolutely, but you don’t get nearly as much warning. All the photo radars in the US operate on either K or Ka bands, though they could operate on any band assigned to traffic radar by the FCC. The good news is that the radar beam is on all the time, not playing hide and seek like instant on, so we have lots of time to find it. The bad news is that it uses a narrow beam aimed diagonally across the road. And it’s usually very low power, because photo radar doesn’t engage the target until it’s within a few hundred feet. So you really need detector sensitivity to pick up weak reflections. Today’s V1s, and older ones equipped with our latest radar upgrade, offer reliable protection against photo radar, but you have to pay attention.
Our metal case serves as a vault to keep out various electrical interferences from other devices. These interferences are particularly insidious, worse than false alarms, because they can be in there desensitizing your receiving circuits, thereby hurting your warning range, but you have no way of knowing. The magnesium is really durable too, yet it’s light weight. You’ll notice the really slick laptop computers these days have magnesium instead of plastic cases.
Yes, with a few caveats. K and Ka bands there are the same as in the US, so all V1s (after a few very-early models) will work as well there as here. When last we checked, Ku band is found in England, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Serbian and Spain (but not in the US). Most V1s on the road also cover Ku band; the exception is early versions with serial numbers having the last four digits lower than 0600.
More recently we’ve added Euro Mode, which adapts V1’s radar sensitivity to the way radar is used for photo enforcement in Europe and some other countries outside the U.S. It narrows and intensifies radar coverage to K and the sections of Ka bands applied there to photo radar. V1s with Ku coverage and Euro Mode have those features installed but not “activated” as they leave the factory.
We sell directly to our customers only. We’ve never used dealers or distributors, and we have no plans to start now.
Valentine One is a uniquely conceived, high technology, security device for customers who expect top performance; we know exactly how it works and we have experts at 1-800 331 3030 who can answer all your questions and assure your satisfaction. Dealers who sell multiple products rarely have the same motivation.
Occasionally a few entrepreneurs act as if they’re dealers or distributors. They’re not; they pay the same list prices we ask of all customers.
We accept orders that have a ship-to address in the U.S. or the AB, BC, or SK provinces of Canada. No exceptions. We hope some day to serve customers worldwide, but for the foreseeable future we simply can’t.
Here’s why. There’s no fast, affordable, and problem-free delivery method to other addresses that can deal with Customs and assure your satisfaction. If you have a friend in the U.S. or AB, BC, or SK provinces of Canada, we can ship to your designated intermediary.
Sorry, but we haven’t been able to test the windshields of every car for every model year. Here’s what to watch out for; any glass with a metallic film, usually put there either as a heating element for defrosting, or as a solar barrier to reduce interior heat from the sun.
You can usually tell by looking carefully which windshields have the film— if you see an unusual bronze or reddish tint, check with your dealer.
Be especially watchful of GM front-drive minivans (1989 to present), older Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable and Lincoln models with the optional InstaClear windshield, and the “insulated glass” option on Audi A8 models. This insulated glass is more common in Europe; BMW-3-Series models sold in Europe have it, for example.
One other point; if the tint band at the top of your windshield looks a lot darker than others you see in the parking lot, I suggest you avoid placing V1 behind it if you’re driving in laser territory. Most windshield tint bands are okay but why take a chance.
For more information, click here.
When V1 is mounted on or near the windshield, don’t worry about defroster lines, or the fine antenna wires you see on the rear window of some cars. Radar and laser zip right past these distant obstructions.
Be careful of wires in the windshield though, because they’re close to V1. Usually the horizontal wires are no problem, but I recommend that you stay a few inches away from vertical wires.
The plastic rear windows on convertibles are transparent for radar, even when the plastic gets old and foggy. But the harder it is for you to see behind, the harder it will also be for rear laser to get through. Because rear laser warnings are rarely helpful however, I wouldn’t lose much sleep over the loss.
Red neon is occasionally used for the CHMSL (Center High Mounted Stop Lamp) on new cars. We know of these models: GM Trailblazer and Envoy, the Lincoln Mk VIII and the latest BMW 3-series convertible.
These lights use a neon-plasma light source. The red lens allows red visible light to pass, and also invisible energy near infrared. The source is powered by a pulsating voltage on a frequency that happens to be similar to the repetition rate of legitimate laser-gun pulse trains. In other words, the CHMSLs have an invisible energy leakage that’s nearly identical to the beam used by traffic laser. If we suppress the interference, we’re likely to damage laser sensitivity.
Another source of alarms: a few new cars have cruise controls that use laser to measure distance to the car ahead. This feature is available on the Lexus LS430, Infiniti FX35 and FX45. This, of course, is real laser, not a false alarm.
New V1s have a special software algorithm designed to recognize unthreatening K alerts and preemptively exclude them. You won’t hear a thing. We call this feature Junk-K Fighter because it selects K signals that aren’t enforcement—”junk signals” in our parlance—and looks right past them for actual traffic radar.
The frequency range for K-band radar, 24.050-24.250 GHz, has recently become a free-fire zone for various transmitting devices. The newest offenders are the lane-change or blind-spot warning systems in cars. These are far more troubling than the old problem of automatic store-door openers; blind-spot systems move, and they may tag along in traffic with you for miles.
At this point, a review of how radar detectors work may help you decide which alerts are most likely to be threats.
Since all radar detectors are simply radios tuned to the microwave frequencies used by traffic radar, they automatically sound an alarm whenever they encounter signals on those frequencies.
The problem is, other devices that are not radar are also operating on radar frequencies. A detecting radio must respond to them, too. Every response indicates a threat, a bogey. Only your judgment can distinguish actual radar warnings from the non-radar alarms.