Not quite car audio, but who can pass up a discussion on RADAR DETECTORS?!

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    48,312
    Likes Received:
    5,490
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    I don't know why I felt I needed a radar detector
    in the first place. I am not a compulsive speeder
    like I used to be. I would imagine that once most
    of us hit middle age, we tend to drive more like
    law-abiding citizens.

    Nevertheless, I own a yellow car (see below) that
    sticks out like a sore thumb, and I'm sure that
    I'm noticed by a lot of cops. Though I only excel
    the speed limit by 10 MPH, I still would like to
    avoid any tickets.

    Have done a lot of research on these things over
    the past 3 days. I even bought one, just to return
    it a day later for something more expensive.

    It seems that the BIG DADDIES of the Radar Detector
    gamut are the Escort and Valentine One.
    These sell for about $400 each, and are regarded as
    the very best of the best.

    At first, I didn't want to spend that kind of money.
    I went out to Circuit City yesterday and purchased
    the Bel Vector 985 which has gotten very
    good reviews. It is considered one of the top
    performers amongst radar detectors. Final cost
    was about $300.

    But you know what? For the past 24 hours since
    that purchase, I couldn't sleep. If I truly want
    the BEST protection, and I am willing to spend
    $300 for it, why not go another $100 and buy the
    one that is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    My choice? The Valentine One. It can
    be only ordered via its website. It has been rated
    as the best Radar Detector in its price range.
    Not only does its sensitivity surpass all others,
    but it offers REAR protection as well. To top
    that off, it is the ONLY detector that has arrows
    that tell you EXACTLY where the radar is coming
    from.

    I returned my $300 Bel Vector 985 and ordered the
    Valentine One. It should arrive early next
    week.

    Hope to hear some comments from Valentine owners
    as well as owners of other detectors and how you
    rate their performance.
     
  2. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great topic Ronald, this will get alot of interest! I've had a Passport 8500 for about a year now that I use everyday. Not that I'm a big speeder, I just like it to keep me informed and to watch other people zip past me and watch them get pulled over. Have yet to see the safety/hazard warning feature kick in. The only problem I've encountered with this unit is the power cord has a feature built into the plug that goes into the lighter socket. The feature allows you to mute the alarm with a push of a little button. This doesn't seem to be working anymore. I haven't tried opening it up to see if it's a fuse that can be replaced or what. I can still use the mute button on the detector to silence it though. Valentine makes a fantastic little unit but costs more. If you have the extra money the Valentine looks like the better unit according to the tests.
     
  3. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,553
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    V1 all the way. My buddy has one and it's quite impressive. I run detectorless myself.
     
  4. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I used to have a passport in the 80's (Valentine-designed) I remember Car and Driver running tests and asking "Can't anyone come within 20 miles of Escort/Passport's quality? This is embarassing." Valentine left Escort/Passport, so I don't know what their quality level is at now vs. Valentine, but I'd head in his direction. My Passport was fun, I used to go hunting for radar traps! [​IMG]

    I only have a camry 4 cyl these days, so not much point in getting one for now... I'll probably get a Valentine next though...
     
  5. David Preston

    David Preston Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a radar detector but I haven't seen it in a while. I let my friend borrow it to see if it would cut down on his speeding tickets. I have been driving 10 years with no speeding tickets(knock on wood) and I have driven some pretty fast cars. He is 23 and has had about 18 or 19 speeding tickets. He wasn't using it the other day when he got a 87 in a 65. So I really don't know if it works. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world when it comes to speeding tickets. Not that I do it excessively. I always leave myself plenty of time and tell myself to go the speed limit.
     
  6. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    12,216
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Real Name:
    Parker
    Ron:

    Looks like you picked another winner. For those that don't have the link to this great detector check out here.

    Parker
     
  7. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have the cordless version of the Passport 8500. I don't drive a particularly fast car (Chevy Blazer, ok, so it's not fast at all) but people tell me I have a lead foot I am very pleased with it, but it should be time to upgrade soon.
     
  8. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    David, I'm surprised your friend still has his driver's license with that many speeding tickets lol! His car insurance must be astronomical.
     
  9. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well I work at ultimate electronics in the mobile electronics department. We sell escort. I have never used one... but my buddy has an 8500 and seems to be very happy with it. But I never knew that the valentine was the only detector with front and rear... i thought the escort had that too.

    As far as tickets go.. ive been pretty lucky too. I have had a ton of warnings for some bad stuff too. Running from a cop, wreckless driving, street racing, speeding... etc. All were warnings. [​IMG]
     
  10. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Aren't radar detectors illegal?
     
  11. David Preston

    David Preston Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Karl my friend has already had them suspended twice. He is working real hard on the third time. He is 24 not 23(sorry) and his parents pay for everything so he don't know how much it is. He will turn 25 in Jan and he has to get his own Ins. He is in for a rude awakening.
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    48,312
    Likes Received:
    5,490
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
     
  13. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Carl III
    Some counties offer the driver's diversion program which basically says that if you're no more than 15mph over your can pay the ticket + an extra $100 and it won't show on your record. Between diversions, warnings, and the cop occasionally not showing up I'd guess that his record only shows 1/3 of those violations. It couldn't be much more than that because they would suspend his CDL.
    A couple of years ago my insurance rates got so sky high that I retired my lead foot and I haven't had a ticket since. I still occasionally tempt fate but I don't have a radar detector because when I heard that laser speed detection devices were in use that detectors were obsolete. Detecting a laser by picking up the light seems about as appealing as detecting a guillotine by hearing the sound, by then you're screwed.
    With the Valentine getting such rave reviews either lasers aren't widely used or picking up the beam isn't as deadly as I would have assumed. One ticket would easily cost me $400 so I guess I'm gonna have to put the Valentine on my to buy list [​IMG]
     
  14. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  15. Jerry_Wh

    Jerry_Wh Extra

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The state of Connectict (sp?) also bans them, and they are federally banned from commercial trucks. I have the V1 myself and feel naked without it. I got the remote display unit and have the radar itself tucked in right above my rear-view mirror and have the remote display mounted right on the driver's side A-pillar at eye level (had to remove the case from the remote display and cut the a-pillar to fit it in). There are a couple of benefits in this configuration:

    1) Instant visual alerts - no having to look over at the unit itself to determine if the cop is in front or rear. Also, good for when the music is playing LOUD enough to drown out the audio alerts.

    2) With the remote display connected, the main unit does not light up, so no one deciding to ride my tail because they know I've got a radar.

    3) Mounting the main unit at the top and center of the windshield gives the best range and makes it much less visible when parked (I do not have a tint-stripe across the top of the windshield like many vehicles do, I suspect that such a tint-stripe would reduce range, especially for laser) - so that I don't usually worry about having to hide the unit.

    4) The hardwire kit, which comes with the main unit and is practically necessary for use with the remote display makes using the detector a snap - it always turns on with the car and doesn't hog the cig lighter (which I use for my navman GPS).
     
  16. David Preston

    David Preston Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Carl you said some counties offer the driver's diversion program which basically says that if you're no more than 15mph over your can pay the ticket + an extra $100 and it won't show on your record. Between diversions, warnings, and the cop occasionally not showing up I'd guess that his record only shows 1/3 of those violations. It couldn't be much more than that because they would suspend his CDL
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    48,312
    Likes Received:
    5,490
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Jerry,

    My V1 just arrived last night. I also bought
    the concealed display to place on my dashboard
    near my odometer.

    I'm trying to figure out exactly how you placed
    your unit. It Sounds like it was placed
    right behind your rear-view mirror. Since I have
    the tint line that most cars have across the top
    of their glass, I am going to position mine below
    this line and to the side of the rear-view.

    Going to BEST BUY Today to have them professionaly
    hardwire the unit to my fuse box and mount the
    concealed display.

    Since I haven't even plugged this baby in yet for
    a tryout, I am curious as to how reliable the V1
    has been for you? Does it false often? Do you
    think it was worth the $400 you paid for it?

    I look forward to your comments.
     
  18. Jerry_Wh

    Jerry_Wh Extra

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I drive in mostly rural areas so I rarely get falses. If I do get a false, more often then not, it is due to some other driver with an el cheapo detector that is leaking on the same spectrum. Around town there are a few places it always falses, but the bogey counter protects me even there, as every once in a while a cop with a radar will "hide in the shadow" of a false, but the bogey counter which usualy registers only 1 will count 2 sources in that case.

    I like my V1 one so much that I bought a second one for my wife's car. Not a gadget freak herself, she has even decided that she likes it and never turns it off either. We haven't received speeding tickets in the last 10+ years (I never have, can't speak for her though). But the V1 regularly saves me from bad luck two or three times a year. Since just one ticket can have fallout costs that easily exceed $400, I think the investment is well worth it.

    Around here at least, the cops seem to leave their radar guns on all the time, which makes the V1 a handy "cop detector" even if they aren't actually writing tickets, it is good to know when one or more are around and in what direction because they are often traffic hazards themselves - driving like they own the road and other drivers getting super-timid around them to the point of ridiculousness.

    As for mounting the hardwire kit, it is relatively trivial, I've done both cars myself and it is a good way to get a basic introduction to what is underneath your dashboard. I've found that a flat-head screwdriver wrapped in cloth is the easiest way to insert the wires on the edge of the headliner. I think getting it installed at Bestbuy could be hit or miss depending on the specific location, some seem to really have some good people working there, others can't even seem to figure out how to open the car door correctly.

    Here is a quick and dirty snapshot of what my V1 install looks like. My cheapo camera didn't have a wide-enough field of view so the perspective is from behind and to the right of the driver's seat, so it is a little off. But I think you can get the idea:

    [​IMG]

    Well, I would have inlined it, or at least made it click-able but the forum complains about people posting threads to link to other threads or something equally inapplicable and wouldn't let me do it. You'll have to cut-n-paste I guess.
     

Share This Page