Choosing a Radar Detector

frgfrtwgrtgrIf you’ve been looking around the web trying to learn about radar detectors, I bet you’ve probably come across many sites that deal with them, but most of them don’t necessarily tell you what you should go for, and what you should expect from them. Most sites just indicate the top radar detectors and stuff. I thought it would be nice for someone to at least let those who intend to invest in a radar detector know the best features to go for so that when they go shopping, they have a clue about what to look for and what to avoid. Hence, in the next couple of paragraphs, I’ll share with you everything I think you should know to make an informed decision when investing in a radar detector. Here we go!

Just for The Sake

In case you didn’t know, a radar detector is a device that senses and alerts you in advance about speeding guns/ radar guns that law enforcers use to determine the speed at which your vehicle is moving; therefore, giving you a chance to adjust your speed before the radar gun detects it.

Technologies

Considering the fact that radar detectors have been around for nearly 40 years, the technology behind them has also been advancing. Most radar detectors can detect any speed detection device that employs the Doppler effect technology. Alternative technologies like VASCAR, ANPR, and piezo are currently considerably difficult to detect; therefore, devices employing these technologies are challenging to detect. The latest speed detection devices use LIDAR, a technology that uses pulsed laser light to detect the speed of a moving vehicle. To detect these devices, you’ll need a detector that’s fashioned to detect that kind of technology. They go by the name LIDAR detectors. You may just call it a radar detector, just remember at the back of your mind that you’re just referring to the device, but the technology behind it is different to what a radar detector usually uses.

Moreover, most radar detectors today are able to sense signals from assorted wavelength bands; mostly photo radar, K, Ka, X, and Ku. When shopping for a radar detector, you want to go for something that can detect devices employing most, if not all of the technologies and wavelength bands suggested above. The more technologies your device can effectively detect, the more accurate and beneficial it will be to you.

Brands

Every industry has its top brands due to reputation, functionality, price, and convenience. With radar detectors, the top brands are:

  • Escort
  • Beltronics
  • Uniden
  • Valentine One

If you can get a radar detector from one of these brands, you’ll probably have an effective one. But the brand alone isn’t enough, you must still consider the technology behind the devices, as well as when the device was manufactured. If you get a radar detector from one of these brands, that was produced 10 years ago, don’t expect it to be as effective today as it was then. Remember, technology is a rolling stone; therefore, what was a big deal 10 years ago may mean diddly squirt today. Stay current and be aware of your surroundings.

Feel free to check out various radar detector reviews for a more comprehensive list of the top radar detectors in the market today. The purpose of this article is to show you what to look for prior to visiting any of these reviews so that you can determine what’s good for you, as well as who knows their stuff.

Features

When it comes to devices and gadgets, features are everything. “What can it do for me that this other one can’t?” is the question you should always be asking yourself when shopping for devices. First things first; always do your homework. If you go shopping like a dummy, you are likely to buy stuff that dummies buy. Trust me, going through the buyer’s remorse is not a pleasant experience, especially when you know you could have prevented it. So here are the features you should go for.

Sensitivity

3600 is a household name when it comes to radar detectors. You want a device that, as highlighted earlier, can detect critical devices using any of the technologies and wavelength bands being employed in speed detection devices today. You also want a device that can filter any false signals from devices operating in the same wavelength as the radar detector. And ultimately, you want a device that can do all these from any direction; hence, the 3600 concept. There are also radar detectors that can be set to not alert you about anything, provided you are driving below a certain speed.

Furthermore, there are radar-detector detectors, which are devices that detect radar detectors. I hope you won’t get confused; read slower is you must. There are radar detectors that can detect when they are being detected so that they, in a way, can conceal their presence. All this is part of being sensitive. You want a device that is capable of all these features if they apply to your situation. Ensure the device you’re looking for is sensitive enough to your needs.

Display

Effective radar detectors are not only expensive devices but are also possibly banned in some states. Therefore, the fact that they are expensive means that they are gadgets some people won’t be able to resist breaking into your car for when no one is looking. And the fact that they may be banned in some states implies that you are likely to either pay a fine of $10, 000 or spend a year in jail if one of them is discovered in your car. Hence, you want a radar detector with a display that will be enough for you to read its contents while in the car, and at the same time not conspicuous enough to attract unnecessary attention from those outside your vehicle. Some displays are also only visible from inside the car but become unreadable when hit with sunlight, therefore, practically impossible for someone to read them from outside the vehicle. You’ll want to pick a radar detector that’s this convenient.

GPS

There are radar detectors with built-in GPS that store and remember hot spots where law enforcers are likely to be waiting for you with their speed guns/ radar guns. Such radar detectors will always alert you whenever you’re approaching one of these hot spots even without necessarily detecting a radar gun. How convenient. That’s the beauty of radar detecting technology coupled with GPS.

Collaboration

Here I mean Bluetooth, Smartphone apps, and alternative in-car technologies. High-end radar detectors today have support for all these gadgets and technologies built-in. All that’s remaining for you is to install and configure them and appreciate the features. Go for a radar detector that’ll make things easier for you by giving you additional functionality by enabling you to use technologies you are already used to.

Miscellaneous

You may also want to consider how easy the device will be to install in your vehicle. Talk to the person selling the product to you to determine whether it suits your style or not. Does it come with a warranty? For how long? You’ll be paying top dollar for devices with the best luxuries, and you want to make sure they are worth the money. If you are concerned about concealing the gadget, find out how conspicuous it will be once installed, and what other options are there to make it less obvious. Finally, it will be helpful to determine whether installing the gadget will require any professionals or even a 10-year-old can do it. Most of this section is common sense, but common sense isn’t so common nowadays, is it?

These are the main things you should go for when choosing a radar detector. I believe you are now well informed to make an informed decision when you’re ready to invest in one of these amazing devices.

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