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  • Affordable Radar Detector Testing - 3/15/2015

    This weekend joehemi and I went out to test out some of the more affordable radar detectors. Lots of testing has been done with the typical higher end contenders, but I'm curious how some of the more budget friendly detectors ~$200 compare to the higher end detectors. For this test we ran 9 detectors. (A huge thank you to everyone who sent in units for testing!!!)

    Here's the contenders:

    Whistler CR85 (retail $230, online $150)
    Uniden LRD950 1.35 (retail $400, online $193)
    Cobra SPX 7800BT (retail for $260, online $180)
    Beltronics RX65 S7 (discontinued, $200 refurb from Escort's eBay store)
    Escort SmartRadar (discontinued, originally $450, now $160)
    Escort Passport (retail $350, online $290)

    Then to set our baselines for context, we have the typical contenders. (They can sometimes be found with a bit of a discount, maybe $50'ish or so.)

    Escort Redline (retail $500)
    Escort Max2 (retail $600)
    Valentine One 3.8945 (retail $400)

    We tested 33.8, 34.7, 35.5, and K band. Every detector was set up for maximum sensitivity. Basically segmented 2,5,8 when applicable, RDR off, TSR off, X off, K and Ka on, Highway mode, etc.

    The course we used was mostly a straightaway (very rare to find here in western Washington) less than a mile long to test more on-axis performance against C/O. This is not an off-axis or I/O test, and as we know detectors may do well in on-axis tests but not in off-axis or I/O.

    There were also several big hills and so what we found was there were different detection "zones" where we would crest a hill and the signal would go from nothing to "Oh look there's radar! Alert!" and so many detectors would all go off right around the same zones within 2-3 sec of each other.

    It was also raining all day (yay Seattle!) which definitely reduced performance of both the detectors and the radar guns. Fortunately the rain was pretty consistent all day long so every run was affected about equally.

    Ideally I'd like to test everything 2-3 times to average out any outliers good or bad, but we didn't have time, so almost everything was measured with just one run. In fact there was a nosy neighbor who started causing problems for us so we left before completing all our K band testing. I would have love to have ideal weather conditions, absolutely no traffic, and all the time in the world, but we gotta test with what we got! I'll explain how these factors impact our testing results as we go into them more deeply.

    Every run was recorded on multiple cameras, but I'll only be showing some of the highlights and more interesting encounters while explaining some of the results and things we saw. With that said, let's jump right into the results and start looking at how the detectors fare.

    35.5 Results



    35.5 returned the most expected results and so we're going to start with it.

    See how all of the higher end detectors are all bundled up in the same area? That's the first main hill that we crest and so it's where many detectors would alert. They didn't all alert in the same exact area. You had about a 100 foot zone from the top of the hill to the front of the hill where they'd go off. I didn't show it in the chart b/c it'd get a little sloppy looking, but the Redline, V1, Max2, and Passport all alerted in the front of the pack and the SmartRadar, Uniden, and RX65 S7 all alerted in the latter half of the pack. I wouldn't take this split too too seriously because of the weather conditions and light traffic which did vary some stuff up (I'll talk about that a little more in the 34.7 section next.)

    The Whistler CR85 dropped down below the pack and the Cobra rounded out the bottom. One very important thing to mention that's not labeled on the chart. See how I mention that the kill zone is really close to the actual radar vehicle? Well there's actually a second detection point right where the Cobra is located that the radar gun can pick up for just a few seconds or so at most. It's not long, but in this case, the Kustom Golden Eagle actually picked up my vehicle's speed before the Cobra alerted to Ka band. Thus in this case, the Cobra actually got owned against C/O!! Fail... Here's a video of the Cobra run showing you this, along with a Redline run afterwards for context. (You'll also see it get owned a second time. When I turn around to head back, the Cobra actually stops alerting while the gun is still actively clocking me from behind! It was the only detector to do that.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u66soPw0AQE

    Since the Whistler was a bit of an oddball too, alerting later than most everyone else but still before the earlier killzone, here's a video of its run.

    https://youtu.be/2-QkNocuwcE

    You'll also see the Whistler alert to laser near the end of the test course. (From a minivan, either a Honda or a Toyota.) Fortunately it can actually lock out different ranges of pulse frequencies and so since the ~590pps range isn't used by any legit lidar gun, you can press a button on the unit to effectively lock out all signals in that frequency from alerting again. A very cool feature.

    Something else to note, sometimes the KGE would have issues clocking vehicles in the earlier kill zone due to the rain. It was also sometimes tough to visually ID who's who when all you can see is headlights for a few seconds over 2000 feet away, particularly when there were multiple vehicles on the road which is great for RD users.

    33.8 Results



    33.8 was actually very similar to 35.5. The main difference was that the Cobra and Whistler swapped places. Very strange and I had to go back and double and triple check to verify that this was the case. Yes, indeed, the Cobra actually beat the Whistler on 33.8. Not only that, you'll also notice (it's not marked on the graph) that the Whistler actually alerted after the earlier kill zone by an even greater degree. I wasn't the radar operator for this run so joehemi will have to comment on it, but I believe he found that the Bee III was even better than the Kustom Golden Eagle at acquiring speeds at this earlier kill zone. Anyways, here's videos of the two runs so you can see as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4keOAJIIb9o

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_dFldYYLwY

    I've left in the return drive heading back to the start of the course with the Whistler and you'll see it actually throw two Ka9 false alerts (Whistler-speak for a full strength signal). If you look at the beginning of the run, you'll see it actually initially starts out by saying "Ka 1." A short period of time later it switches to "33.8 Ka 1." The way Whistler's MaxID works (their frequency display), they only display a simple frequency when it's most likely a legit frequency, ie. 33.8, 34.7, or 35.5. If it's some really weird random frequency like 33.6, it will display a strength but no frequency as a sort of indication of a false alert I presume. Therefore I'm starting to treat frequency-less alerts as falses but it's really hard to tell. Given that it likes to false on Ka band and not always report a frequency at all, it makes it harder to trust. (You'll see some additional alerting problems with the Whistler when we get to the K band section.) Because of these issues, along with its poor performance here, I'm not too impressed with the Whistler either.

    34.7 Results



    Okay now here's where things start to get a little weird. Almost every detector performed worse on 34.7 and I'm not entirely sure why this is the case. I'm thinking that Stalker II might have been aimed just slightly up or down, but when we were looking at it, it didn't look especially off. It was pretty much resting upside down (orientation doesn't matter with circularly polarized antennas) with the battery handle leaning against the A-pillar of the radar vehicle to the left of the steering wheel dash hump. The other antennas were on the right side of the dash hump so it's possible that had something to do with it, but I don't necessarily think so. Rain was also about the same. Either way, whatever the explanation, it was definitely tougher for the detectors on 34.7. The Stalker II wasn't able to detect cars farther away. Only at the hill right before the radar vehicle where it's marked kill zone.

    If you look at the chart, you'll even notice the Redline falling behind the V1 and even the Uniden!!? What in the world?

    Rewatching the Redline run, it dawned on me why. There's thick tree cover on either side and even over some of the road along the course, creating an almost tunnel-like corridor in places. When we did the Redline run (our very first run of the day), there was a big hummer which would have been right in that tunnel area, effectively blocking much of the signal and reducing range. This would explain the results that we're seeing and why, if I had a magic wand, I'd have no traffic at all to help keep things consistent. That said, it's really great to see this in action because when things go "wrong" in testing, assuming we've done everything we can right, that just means that we're about to learn something new! The Redline consistently wins in every other test and pass I've done and so I'm considering this to be an outlier and it's one of the reasons why it's important to do multiple passes with the same setup in testing if possible.

    Now the two winners of this test were the Uniden and the V1. In fact the Uniden actually beat the V1 by about 10-15 feet!! Now given what we saw with the Redline, I'm not going to say this is an unquestionably accurate result, but it is a very interesting observation nonetheless and is very promising for the Uniden. Again, I'll post a video of its run in just a bit so you can see its performance, how heavy the rain and traffic is, and so on. It helps you to see what I saw (and and didn't see until I rewatched the video).

    In the middle of the pack were the M4/M5/S7 units.

    The Whistler was down just below that. I actually did rerun the Whistler a second time on 34.7 due to traffic I noticed and such poor results and it alerted in the same area, just 2-3 sec earlier without a vehicle in the way... so basically same location.

    The Cobra was absolutely the worst of the bunch. It alerted a mere 6 seconds before my speed was registered (maybe sooner than that by about 2-3 seconds, but that's roughly what it looks like when reviewing the dashcam footage.)

    It's from these 34.7 runs that I created the following video showing a comparison between the V1 and the Cobra. The video's a bit longer because I talk a little bit how important range is when detecting I/O shots on traffic ahead of you and whatnot, but it shows these two runs. I'll also show them individually so you can jump right into it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klCj6XNHvD8

    Here's some of the important runs in the group:

    Sorry for the camera placement on some of these. I aimed it primarily at the camera and didn't realize at first on the little screen that sometimes the suction cup mounts would actually block the road ahead. It's not too big of a deal and it all still works.

    Uniden LRD950:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGwBAuupziw

    V1:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bSjx4zu0F4

    Redline:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJekamClfPY

    Whistler CR85:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCx2Z4R1LXU

    Cobra SPX 7800BT:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-_6E5mxVu0

    (I have all the rest of the videos available too if anyone wants to see any, but these are the main ones relevant to the results.)

    K band Results



    K band was a bit of an oddball for several reasons.

    Number one because every detector alerted near the start of the course in that first detection zone. This includes the Whistler which alerted farther downrange for all the 34.7 units. (It did incorrectly alert to Ka band for a moment during the K band run. Not sure what's up with that but you'll see it when I post the video.)

    The second reason the K band run was odd was because we didn't get a chance to complete it. There was a nosy neighbor nearby who I think was getting afraid that we were scoping out her house and that we were going to break in when she left or something. (One of the reasons I prefer testing in private locations when possible... Again, sometimes you just gotta test with whatever's available around you.) She started getting really weird and without getting into too much detail, we decided to leave before anything happened. It was a bit of a bummer because I didn't get a chance to run the Cobra or Uniden on K band and I was really hoping to see how they fared. (I didn't test the V1 either for the same reason, but I'm not concerned with the V1 for this test.)

    All of the detectors tested alerted within the same sort of area. Not precisely on the nose in the same exact location, but all within a hundred feet of each other or so. In this case, the Redline, SmartRadar, Whistler, and RX65 S7 were towards the front of the pack and the Max2 and the Passport were towards the end of the pack, but I wouldn't take those results too too seriously because of the issues we saw earlier. They're not hard, fast numbers. Alerting anywhere in that zone is a great result. Since the Whistler is the main detector of interest in this round, here's a video of its run with both great performance and a false to Ka.

    https://youtu.be/vOKDbGPemk8

    Conclusion

    In this test, we definitely had some detectors that did better than others.

    The best performing affordable detectors were the Uniden, the M4's, and the S7.

    The Uniden actually did very well, alerting at the first main hill every single time tested. Very impressive. We didn't get to run it on K band, but it seems to do pretty well on K band as well in some of my earlier testing. Plus its K band filtering options seem to work pretty well without huge penalties like we see with TSR. It's also *very* reactive, especially on Ka band, so this detector definely looks like a pretty viable option from what I'm seeing so far, especially if you can buy one around the $200 pricepoint rather than $400. I'm going to review this detector in more detail when I get more seat time with it. It's not all sunshine and roses with it. It falses other detectors the way Cobras do, for example, and its RLC alerts suck, but from a radar detection standpoint, this unit actually looks quite promising so far.

    The M4's did very well too. It's good to note that this is a situation where the newer M4's really shine: on-axis against C/O. Against I/O and off-axis, they don't perform so well so this test definitely shouldn't be taken on its own and some sort of end-all-be-all of which detector is best. Not by any means. It's also good to note that the SmartRadar, and now the 8500 x50 Black which should have the same performance, has been discontinued and is no longer available from most manufacturers. They're being sold cheap on closeout sales for a period of time which is why they're in this pricepoint.

    The S7 did pretty well too. This is an older platform and the RX65 S7 tested is no longer in production either. It's only being sold as refurbished models. They also lack some of the new false filtering technology like TSR that's really really important these days, but if you're running a detector and only need Ka band, and you don't mind a shiny reflective silver shell on your dash, it's another great option.

    The Whistler I'm not too impressed with. Same thing with the Cobra.

    Even though the Whistler beat out the Cobra on most runs and even ran neck-and-neck with the top tier detectors on this particular course on K band, the fact that it got owned on C/O too on 33.8 is just bad news. You can't fail against C/O where other detectors fare much better and be recommendable... The false alerts were also somewhat problematic.

    The Cobra performed pretty much as expected. This is Cobra's top-of-the-line, best performing unit. All of the SPX series detectors have the same horn and same performance. Just different bells and whistles like RLC alerts, a fancy display, bluetooth, etc. Cobra's false alerts are even worse than Whistler's (though not shown in this test) and its performance is generally even worse as well. In fact its performance is sometimes so hilariously bad, I'm even creating a playlist of encounters and testing showing Cobras getting owned.

    This course definitely isn't one of those nice long flat straightaways that some of you guys out in the midwest and open flat deserts experience. It's got hills and curves, rain and trees... a lot of variables that change up the flavor of the results and show us different aspects of RD's so we get a better understanding of the big picture in a variety of different conditions and situation. It'd be great if we had time to complete our testing, do multiple runs, test with K band filtering enabled, run against X band, didn't have rain, had no traffic, etc. So there's always things that could be improved, but here's the results we saw in a relatively realworld testing scenario.

    Again, a huge huge thank you to everyone who helped supply equipment for testing!
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. RedRocket's Avatar
      RedRocket -
      *First off, I want to express/say to both Vortex & joehemi my gratitude & Thank You's for performing AND sharing the results here, plus props to those who sent the loner RDs !

      34.7 Results:
      (Quote)-"Ok now, here's where things start to get a little weird.Almost every detector performed...w/ the battery handle leaning against the A-pillar to the left of the steering wheel dash hump." -

      As you stated all RDs seemed to not do well & I believe this to possibly be a clue as to what was going on. It would appear to me that the radar source could very well be contributing to the issue you were experiencing, however not due to the orientation as you correctly indicate, but rather the positioning location is what I'm suggesting. I'll speculate further you introduced phase perturbations throughout the wavefront of the emitted signal caused by the sharp curvature of the W/S at this location acting as a weird size medium of varying thickness as a transmit Shaping Lens. It's not just the curve itself but also the transit-time propagation delay thru more "thicker" portions of glass where the curvature becomes much sharper in close proximity to meet the A-pillar.

      Maybe next time you could have "joehemi" just lay the Stalker II on its side (gangsta style) on top of the dash hump for comparison to see what happens.
    1. Vortex's Avatar
      Vortex -
      This is interesting considering I didn't create this thread. Is someone posting under my name?

      Is this an automated posting created when an article is posted with me as the contributing author?

      Edit: Ohhhh, nevermind. This is a comment thread for an article. Got it.
    1. BestRadarDetectors's Avatar
      BestRadarDetectors -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
      This is interesting considering I didn't create this thread. Is someone posting under my name?

      Is this an automated posting created when an article is posted with me as the contributing author?

      Edit: Ohhhh, nevermind. This is a comment thread for an article. Got it.
      Your original post was just promoted to an Article so readers can find it on the main page if they did not want to search the forums.
    1. Vortex's Avatar
      Vortex -
      Quote Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
      It would appear to me that the radar source could very well be contributing to the issue you were experiencing, however not due to the orientation as you correctly indicate, but rather the positioning location is what I'm suggesting.
      I just asked joehemi after reading your question and he said that all the Ka antennas were mounted in the exact same location. Trying to keep things apples to apples as much as possible as always. The only exception was the K band antenna where the antenna cable was really short so it was placed in the center of the dash.

      Speaking of followups, BRD just sent me a few more Unidens to see if we can find a new possible contender for the best pick for the affordable radar detector.

      Quote Originally Posted by BestRadarDetectors View Post
      Your original post was just promoted to an Article so readers can find it on the main page if they did not want to search the forums.
      Thank you for clarifying, and for the article/post promotion!
    1. RedRocket's Avatar
      RedRocket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
      I just asked joehemi after reading your question and he said that all the Ka antennas were mounted in the exact same location. Trying to keep things apples to apples as much as possible as always. The only exception was the K band antenna where the antenna cable was really short so it was placed in the center of the dash.

      Speaking of followups, BRD just sent me a few more Unidens to see if we can find a new possible contender for the best pick for the affordable radar detector. - hahaha, no rest for the weary ! If the Testing hole you're in keeps getting deeper, maybe it's time to stop digging, .



      Thank you for clarifying, and for the article/post promotion! - a deserved upgrade, you guys earned it for that Review.
      I'm glad to hear what "joehemi" said about the Gun locations, b/c that prompted me today to take my Stalker II MDR out (in the rain I should add) & try to see what I got thru W/S center & next to A-pillar. My ride doesn't have as sharp a curve as his. I found no diff. between the 2 locations on a narrow corridor (sans the curves & hills you guys had) of ~5,000ft. Max range w/ no rain was around 4300-4500ft from both W/S locations & same outside of Driver window. That surprised me a little b/c I expected some loss thru the W/S.
      Light to med-light rain caused a reduction of range of ~400-500ft.

      Same effects on my FalconHR, but ~600-800ft loss of range in the rain...I expected more.
      Max range w/ no rain is ~ 3800ft for K-band.

      Range distances above were obtained w/ Lidar gun.


      p.s. - It now appears that the 34.7 range issues you experience could be humidity related possibly. Do you know what it was that day ?
    1. Vortex's Avatar
      Vortex -
      Quote Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
      hahaha, no rest for the weary ! If the Testing hole you're in keeps getting deeper, maybe it's time to stop digging,
      What more could I possibly ask for than a life spent doing what I love?

      Quote Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
      I'm glad to hear what "joehemi" said about the Gun locations, b/c that prompted me today to take my Stalker II MDR out (in the rain I should add) & try to see what I got thru W/S center & next to A-pillar. My ride doesn't have as sharp a curve as his. I found no diff. between the 2 locations on a narrow corridor (sans the curves & hills you guys had) of ~5,000ft. Max range w/ no rain was around 4300-4500ft from both W/S locations & same outside of Driver window. That surprised me a little b/c I expected some loss thru the W/S.
      Light to med-light rain caused a reduction of range of ~400-500ft.

      Same effects on my FalconHR, but ~600-800ft loss of range in the rain...I expected more.
      Max range w/ no rain is ~ 3800ft for K-band.

      Range distances above were obtained w/ Lidar gun.

      p.s. - It now appears that the 34.7 range issues you experience could be humidity related possibly. Do you know what it was that day ?
      That's interesting about the detection capabilities in the rain. It's great to see that your tests showed the RD's to still be capable in the rain.

      I don't know the exact humidity levels on that day of testing, but I can tell you that it was rainy all day.

      For the sake of consistency I prefer having no rain, but given that this is the PNW and rain is a pretty common occurrence here (and that they run radar in the rain too), I find it invaluable to test in the rain and see how my detectors fare. It doesn't make for the best uncontrolled-variable-free test ever though. It'd be cool to do the exact same test in the rain and dry to see the difference, but I have found recently that a small movement in the antenna's orientation can have a noticeable impact on the detector's detection capabilities, so trying to come back a different day and recreate the test doesn't totally satisfy the perfectionist in me, but it can be very telling nonetheless.
    1. RedRocket's Avatar
      RedRocket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
      What more could I possibly ask for than a life spent doing what I love?- Amen to that !



      That's interesting about the detection capabilities in the rain. It's great to see that your tests showed the RD's to still be capable in the rain.

      I don't know the exact humidity levels on that day of testing, but I can tell you that it was rainy all day.
      The humidity level is only part way down the path of where we should go trying to resolve the issue you had w/ 34.7GHz. Obviously 34.7 shouldn't be the only Ka frequency selectively subject to humidity level, but 33.8 & 35.5 should have indicated similar results but didn't. K-band range is far more impacted by humidity than Ka. Conditions for me yesterday were from extremely dry & transitioned to ~70-75 % humidity when the storm moved in mid-Morning. I would guess your humidity level there was 90 % plus.
      Can I assume you & joehemi were using full power (~25mw) 33.8 & 35.5 dash Models & not handguns ? I'm now beginning to wonder about the Stalker's output level. Were you using a +12v power cable feed to the gun handle or running on battery handle only ? If the Stalker had low output power this might explain what occurred. Instead of spending $$$ to have it Certified at a Calibration shop, how 'bout doing a max range check yourself on a remote rural road where you can catch a single vehicle coming at you at a time from 4k to 5k feet in distance.

      When I did mine yesterday I had "Mode" set to ("FCLO") for approaching vehicles only as I guessed that's how you 2 were operating. Of course, larger vehicles (P/U & trucks) return more signal at greater distance than compact cars. This would be a cheap way to see if your Stalker is operating normally & has the same range results as mine does.
    1. Vortex's Avatar
      Vortex -
      I think you're starting to overcomplicate things...

      All the guns were standard guns. Bee III, Stalker II, and Golden Eagle for Ka. I don't remember which gun we used for K band, but it was also a standard gun. No trickery with Falcon HR's or anything.

      The Stalker II is working fine, the calibration was good up to about a year ago, and we used a fully charged battery.

      To add more data points and give us a better idea of the big picture, particularly without rain being a factor, here's a more recent test along similar lines. In that one we used a Bee III, Stalker II, Genesis II, and Python II. (Funny how they all have a II or III at the end of their name.) Anyways, in this one, overall from best to worst it was K band, 33.8, 34.7, 35.5.

      Is it because of something inherent to the radar guns? Quite possibly. Are detectors more sensitive to some bands than others? That can be a factor too. Are there other factors involved that we may not be considering? That's a definite possibility as well.

      This is why I like doing many, many tests. Things can happen in one test to make your results sometimes seem a bit wonky, sometimes a detector will have a freakishly good or bad detection, sometimes traffic will come in at just the right/wrong time to give you better or worse range than you normally would, etc.

      I like looking at multiple tests to get a feel for the big picture and weed out any outliers within a single test. This test is one of many to consider when looking to understand how these tools work.
    1. RedRocket's Avatar
      RedRocket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
      I think you're starting to overcomplicate things...

      All the guns were standard guns. Bee III, Stalker II, and Golden Eagle for Ka. I don't remember which gun we used for K band, but it was also a standard gun. No trickery with Falcon HR's or anything.

      The Stalker II is working fine, the calibration was good up to about a year ago, and we used a fully charged battery.

      To add more data points and give us a better idea of the big picture, particularly without rain being a factor, here's a more recent test along similar lines. In that one we used a Bee III, Stalker II, Genesis II, and Python II. (Funny how they all have a II or III at the end of their name.) Anyways, in this one, overall from best to worst it was K band, 33.8, 34.7, 35.5.
      I'm not interested in using your Hot Link to that Forum as I'm on an extended leave of absence from there until they get serious about moving forward from the past.(Comments from Staff to my departure Post lacked a far from conciliatory tone or attitude as I suspected would happen!!! - so please refrain from repeating that.)

      I wasn't attempting to complicate the inquiry, but rather pointing out the transmitted power level difference factors between the various models which could affect range.
    1. Vortex's Avatar
      Vortex -
      Quote Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
      I wasn't attempting to complicate the inquiry, but rather pointing out the transmitted power level difference factors between the various models which could affect range.
      Nominal / Maximum output power:
      MPH Bee III: 12-30 mW / 50 mW
      Stalker II: 15 mW / 50 mW
      Kustom Golden Eagle: Not in manual, but should be comparable with others
      Decatur Genesis II: 5 mW (Interesting! This is lower than usual. I didn't know this.)

      I've heard that the Bee III isn't as sensitive as some of the other units when it comes to receiving a return signal and so they amp up the output power, making things easier for detectors to pick up on which is why 33.8 often tests well for detectors.

      The Genesis II has historically been a tougher unit to detect. I had assumed it was just because it's 35.5, but its output power is also a fraction of what the others generally put out. I don't have the numbers on the KGE to compare that to.

      EDIT: I'm sorry, I just realized that the documentation I was looking at for the Genesis II covers the linearly polarized K band antenna, NOT the circularly polarized Ka antenna. I don't know the power output for the 35.5 antenna.
    1. RedRocket's Avatar
      RedRocket -
      Yeah, those output numbers are typical of what I remember for all units except Decatur.
      My Stalker II was 11 or 12mw when I got it 3yrs ago & have no idea what it is today. The majority of the time in use it's w/ the +12v cord when Testing to ensure max power out so it's within 3db of its big brother the DSR to near duplicate State Patrol (for detection distance purposes when testing friend's RDs) agencies using the DSR in NewEngland States.

      I had no idea the Genesis II was only 5mw...wow. No wonder I hear complaints about sniffing that one out. Same goes for the FalconHR @ only 8mw.

      One day I would like to see you report on absolute max range (flat road) for all of the above you are using on for cars only, not Semi trucks. I believe the DSR can do almost 2mi.
      I think we've flogged your 34.7 short distance results w/o reaching any conclusive answer I'm afraid.
    1. Vortex's Avatar
      Vortex -
      Quote Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
      My Stalker II was 11 or 12mw when I got it 3yrs ago & have no idea what it is today.
      Were you able to measure that yourself or was it on the certification documentation? It'd be fun to test that out manually and not have to send it out.

      Quote Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
      The majority of the time in use it's w/ the +12v cord when Testing to ensure max power out so it's within 3db of its big brother the DSR to near duplicate State Patrol (for detection distance purposes when testing friend's RDs) agencies using the DSR in NewEngland States.
      That's a good idea. Battery life on these units is pretty excellent and while I assume that the output power on battery should be comparable to a power cable, I have no way of verifying that. Skimming through the documentation, I see no mention of output power being dependent upon the power source.

      Quote Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
      One day I would like to see you report on absolute max range (flat road) for all of the above you are using on for cars only, not Semi trucks. I believe the DSR can do almost 2mi.
      The terrain that we have here isn't conducive to those sorts of tests. In fact it's one reason why I love seeing other people's tests where they have long flat straightaways. It's all curves, hills, and trees here. Finding a straightaway of even a mile or so typically requires driving way out of the way, and even then you have other cars which'll be driving around and so I won't be able to test the full length of the course to test out maximum range. So there's some tests that I can do here and some that are tough at best. It sounds like that may be a test that you'd be able to conduct more easily than I would.

      Quote Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
      I think we've flogged your 34.7 short distance results w/o reaching any conclusive answer I'm afraid.
      haha, well while I've seen detection range against Stalker be just fine in other tests which would lead me to believe there's not something wonky about this unit in particular, I really appreciate you also taking a look at the different possibilities and variables that could be leading to these results *independent of* the sensitivity of the RD's. It's something that's absolutely critical to testing and I love that other people may think of possibilities that never crossed my mind. It's kind of like open source radar detector testing.
    1. RedRocket's Avatar
      RedRocket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
      Were you able to measure that yourself or was it on the certification documentation? It'd be fun to test that out manually and not have to send it out.- (No mini-test chamber as required,nor a wattmeter for GHz freq. for that Power level)... I got it for a reasonable price (knowing what they typically sell for) & had a Calib. Lab do a full Certification on it just to be sure all ok.



      That's a good idea. Battery life on these units is pretty excellent and while I assume that the output power on battery should be comparable to a power cable, I have no way of verifying that. Skimming through the documentation, I see no mention of output power being dependent upon the power source.- Simple formula for Power...P= EI & as battery handle drains voltage starts decreasing & you're not able to sink same level of current either to maintain full output.



      The terrain that we have here isn't conducive to those sorts of tests. In fact it's one reason why I love seeing other people's tests where they have long flat straightaways. It's all curves, hills, and trees here. Finding a straightaway of even a mile or so typically requires driving way out of the way, and even then you have other cars which'll be driving around and so I won't be able to test the full length of the course to test out maximum range. So there's some tests that I can do here and some that are tough at best. It sounds like that may be a test that you'd be able to conduct more easily than I would.- Not even outside Metro areas,within 25mi away ? That's where I have to look to find 2-3mi straightaways. I only have 1 K-band & 1 Ka-band radar, not the collection of Models you own. I splurge all my benjamins on Lidars. We share the same sickness, just the other side of the coin.



      haha, well while I've seen detection range against Stalker be just fine in other tests which would lead me to believe there's not something wonky about this unit in particular, I really appreciate you also taking a look at the different possibilities and variables that could be leading to these results *independent of* the sensitivity of the RD's. It's something that's absolutely critical to testing and I love that other people may think of possibilities that never crossed my mind. It's kind of like open source radar detector testing.
      I'm kinda surprised that a few more didn't chime in here,too. Lemme also add that you've really earned my respect & admiration over the years for the quantity & especially professional QUALITY brought to the game for the benefit of the CM community.
    1. Salty's Avatar
      Salty -
      Wow. Excellent testing and write up! I watch all of your vids on youtube, and enjoy them greatly. Thanks for continuing to put out quality work Vortex!
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