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Understand Signals and Alerts

1 More harm than good
2 Stay alert
3 Keep your detector
4 Mount detector properly
5 Understand signals & alerts
6 Use the correct mode
7 Should I use POP mode?
8 React immediately
9 New Technology
10 Your Radarbuster Experience
11 Bibliography

Page 5- Understand signals & alerts

The radar detector issues a weak signal and you brush it off. This is perhaps the BIGGEST operator error made, ignoring the warning! You may think that it is a false alert or the signal wasn't strong enough to be concerned about. A short time later your radar detector goes off again and you are caught!

To avoid an ambush, Radar Roy first recommends that you understand some of the signals and alerts that your detector will provide.

When most detectors alert, they will display the band and the signal strength.

Band Alerts

X Band:

This is the oldest radar band, used by police in N. J. and several locations in Ohio. Chances are, unless you are in one of those states, you can ignore this alert. False alerts on this band are high to extreme (depending upon detector model and driving location)

K Band: Thirty percent of the radar guns manufactured today use this band. False alerts on this band are moderate
KA Band: Seventy percent of the radar guns manufactured today use this band. False alerts are low to moderate
Laser: Growing in popularity with police departments nationwide, false alerts are low. When false alerts are encountered, normally they are reflection of bright sunlight, or wind shear monitors at airports or weather stations

Signal Strength Alerts
Most detectors will alert you of the strength of the radar signal with a graph or row of lights. The closer the officer, the higher the signal strength.

The Ambush
The ambush frequently happens after you receive a weak signal and ignore it as a false alert. This alert can be an indication of the following:

- All police radar guns are directional, meaning they send the signal in the direction the gun is pointed. As you approach an officers location, it maybe pointing in another direction, thus the weak signal on your radar detector. As you approach, it is re-targeted toward your location.

- The law enforcement officer is further down the road, using his instant-on radar gun or POP radar.

- When an officer uses instant-on or the new POP mode radar guns, he has the able to clock your speed in a second or less. As soon as he obtains your speed his radar detector goes into standby to avoid alerting other approaching drivers with radar detectors.

- Another law enforcement trick is to do radar enforcement in locations known for false alerts. Regular travelers of this route start ignoring the usual alert that they receive when in this area. To avoid this trap, consider a detector that has the ability to detect multiple threats

A good formula to use to determining if the range of your radar detector is adequate to avoid an ambush is "Capture Area x 6". This formula is allows you to detect the police in enough time to safely slow down and to observe the events taking place around you, to then determine the reason for the alert.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Reginald Stanton's ruling which stated that an officer should not target vehicles further then 1000' could be used as a baseline. However very few officers know anything about this ruling and often start obtaining a vehicle tracking history the moment that they observe your vehicle.

Under normal circumstances, the longest range an officer can lock on and make any type of target vehicle identification on a flat roadway using radar, is approximately 1/4 of a mile. Therefore using Radar Roy's formula, you would want to have a detector that has at least, 1.5 miles of detection.

However, there are also some variables in the where police speed enforcement is used, such as hills and curves. Therefore, if you live or drive in an area that has allot of curvy, mountainous roads, you would want to increase your capture area to at least a four mile distance.

During the Speed Measurement Laboratories 2004 Long Range Testing, The Escort and Beltronics radar detectors were detecting K and Ka band signals at a distance of over 10.8 miles away.

Therefore, when your radar detector goes off, make sure that you are traveling at the legal speed limit and are obeying all other traffic rules, until you are SURE the threat has ended.


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