It will be useful to know how they differ and how to choose them correctly.
Today, speed control is mainly assigned to video fixation complexes, and there are quite a few of them. If you accidentally exceed the speed limit, a timely detector signal will not only help to avoid a fine, but also reduce the pace of travel to the allowed limit. All you need to know is how to choose a radar detector for your car.
Radar Detector or Anti-Radar?
For many car enthusiasts, this is two synonyms. But in fact, these devices are fundamentally different.
Anti-Radar suppresses radiation. It generates a response signal in the same range as the police radar. The signal is generated with interference and noise, so it becomes impossible to estimate speed. Anti-radar is prohibited in all European countries.
The radar detector only detects the signal, does not interfere with its reflection and speed estimation. But, despite its “innocence”, such a device is also banned in many countries: Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, France and others. So, when going abroad with the radar detector, be sure to clarify whether its use is allowed there – it can be fined, even if the device will lie in the trunk without power.
What should a good radar detector be like?
Firstly, it is able to determine the maximum number of different radars (preferably all), i.e. working in all major bands. If you can’t rely on it, it’s a small price to pay. In fact, this metaphor is not meaningless: the cheapest detectors are indeed very inexpensive, but not all speedgans are calculated.
Another important point: if the detector is often wrong and “sees” the radar where they are not, the value of such a device is also close to zero. Very soon you will simply stop paying attention to its signals, and as a result you will ignore the really relevant warning. Of course, detectors squeak for a reason: they catch signals, for example, from automatic sliding door systems. To avoid false alarms, the manufacturers enter so-called signatures into the device memory.
An important option for a good radar detector is to have a GPS sensor. It performs two functions at once. First of all, the device determines its location and checks it against a map of fixed speed stations, which are usually in its memory. By the way, some of them have no radiation source at all. Including such posts and “calculates” the radar on GPS. This inexpensive SHO-ME Signature Excellent has a base of stationary radars in its memory.
Ranges: the more, the better.
The selection of the detector radar should be based primarily on their basic capabilities. Different radars work in different bands (at different frequencies).
- X (10,525 MHz);
- K (24150 MHz);
- Ka (34700 MHz).
The first can be found only in older models of radars, K and Ka are the most modern ones. In addition, the police have lidars at their disposal, the analogue of the radar, which operates by emitting laser pulses. They, just like radio waves, are reflected from objects and allow you to judge the speed.
Obviously, a modern radar detector must be able to work with all bands. Plus, as we said before, having a base with GPS coordinates of stationary posts.
Design: Which one’s better?
Radar detectors can be made in three different formats.
Monoblocks are the most popular option. A single case that contains the electronic stuffing, controls and screen.
Block structures. Usually they are two blocks: one contains sensors, the other contains the rest of the electronics and the screen.
Combined devices. For example, a video recorder and a radar detector in one housing. The idea is good, but not everyone needs such complex devices, but they are not cheap.
How do you attach them: duct tape or suction cups?
Most car owners don’t use radar detectors all the time. That’s why more often devices are installed when you go to unknown places or on a long journey. In such cases there is no point in capital fixation of detectors – they must be easily removable (at the same time they can be hidden in the glove compartment in the parking lot). There are three fundamentally different mounts.
Velcro on glass. Once the most popular way, when the device is attached to the glass using silicone suction cups. The quality of the attachment depends on the purity of the glass and, in fact, the quality of the suction cups themselves. Given their size (they cannot be small a priori), the bracket with the detector looks bulky.
Mounting with tape. In modern models of radar detectors use the following scheme: a special platform is attached to the glass with a double-sided tape, to it – the device itself. Thus, if you need to remove the device in the glove compartment, it is enough to detach the latch – the platform itself remains hanging on the glass. This is the most reliable type of attachment.
It’s a rubber mat. You must have seen smartphone mounts that are sticky rubber mats. It’s the same for the detectors. You just put it on the front panel, and no Velcro and duct tape. However, at a steep turn, the detector can fly away from this “mount”.
Basic functions: what do you need?
The degree of “advanced” model depends on the set of functions. Of course, the detector has one main task – to notify the owner of the car about the radar on the move. But they can do it in different ways. If you do not know how to choose the radar detector for a car in 2019, here are the main types.
Which radar detector to choose for city and travel? The simplest models are not equipped with a screen, but a set of indicators. Accordingly, when a signal from the radar usually lights up either one “alarm” indicator or a specific indicator corresponding to the range.
Models in the middle class usually have a screen with more complete information. For example, about the estimated distance to the radar.
Upper-middle class models can display the area resolution and your actual speed, have screen brightness adjustment, voice prompts…
Regardless of the level, radar detectors have mode switches (the simplest is “City/Track”) and mute the audio signal (in case someone in the car is sleeping).
Alarm Distance: what should it be?
It is clear that a quality radar detector should be able to warn drivers in advance. As a rule, the devices are configured in this way: for example, in the “Route” mode they give an alarm signal 500-1000 m before the radar camera is locked. That’s enough to slow down. But it is not that simple: many radars today operate in the direction of “inhaling” rather than “towards”. That is, directed in the course of movement. This solution has become popular, including for fixing motorcycle violations: they have only one rear sign, and “front” radars are not afraid of them.
Such radars are not recognized by all devices. In any case, the warning distance is noticeably less: about 100 meters.
Which radar-detector should I choose?
You can hardly test its capabilities in a shop. We recommend to pay attention to the products of well-known brands: Neoline, Sho-Me, PlayMe… The selected model should be at least:
- be able to work with K and Ka ranges, as well as determine laser speed meters;
- have a GPS sensor and a fixed camera base;
- be securely attached to the glass;
- have a signature detection mode to avoid false alarms.