Why the Design of Your Radar Detector Antenna is Important
Radar detectors are basically like any other radio receiver, the bigger and better the antenna, the further it can receive radio waves.
Because of the engineers of Escort and Beltronics focus most of their attention when developing new radar antennas and when they find a winner they patent the design and use it in their detectors.
In fact Escort owns 85% of all the detection patents in the radar detector industry!
Radar Detector 101
Basically a radar detector is designed to do one thing, capture X, K and Ka radio signals transmitted from a police radar gun.
The first step in the process is the detectors feed horn, which are shaped like a pyramid. The feed horn captures the incoming RF (radio frequency) and then depending on the detector the RF is modulated, amplified, filtered, and the end result is that you are alerted on your display.
Current Escort/Beltronics Feed Horns
M2 Feed Horn:
The M2 feed horn is compact and has very low power consumption.
Because of this it is used in Escort’s Solo S3 cordless (battery operated) radar detector.
The capture range of a Solo S3 is approximately 3 times of a police radar gun.
M3 Feed Horn:
The M3 feed horn took Escort/Beltronics is noted as being their most ambitious project to date, taking their entire team of engineers over 2-years to design and implement.
The capture rate of the M3 is approximately 8 times of a police K/Ka radar gun and it is used in the detectors categorized as 4-Star radar detectors and include the Escort REDLine, STi Magnum, STiR Plus and the 9500ci radar detectors.
M4 Feed Horn:
Released in 2005 the M4 feed horn was develop as a cost effective long range radar detector that had good filtering characteristics.
The capture rate is approximately 4 times that of a police radar gun.
This antenna is used in the 3-Star Radar Detector Category and include the Passport, Escort 8500 X50, Passport 9500ix, the Passport IQ, the Beltronics 500 Pro and Beltronics 300 Pro.
M5 Feed Horn:
Released in 2012 with the launch of the Passport Max, the M5 is basically the same feed horn as the M4, however the modulation and amplification components behind the antenna are of a completely new design.
Because of this the Max and Max2 have significantly better range and sensitivity then the detectors in the M4 class.