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Summary (Abridged) Report

1. Introduction
2. The Equipment
3. The Drive/Ride
4. Conclusions
5. Credits
6. Useful Links

Full (Unabridged) Report

1. Introduction
2. What's Included
3. Costs
4. Build Quality
5. Display (Video)
6. Alert Volume (Video)
7. Alert Tones (Video)
8. Alert Gradient
9. Alert Muting
10. Size
11. Adhesion
12. Programming (Video)
13. The Drive/Ride
14. Test Day #1
15. Test Day #2
16. Test Day #3
17. Respite
18. Test Day #4
19. Test Day #5
20. Test Day #6
21. Conclusions
22. Epilogue I
23. Epilogue II
24. Credits
25. Useful Links

Ultimate
Radar Detector Review '05
Unabridged Version 

Valentine One Escort 8500 X50 Beltronics RX65

Alert Gradient (Audio Signal Strength Meter)

The "alert gradient" as it is described in the V1's manual is the audio equivalent of a signal strength meter.

Here, both Valentine Ones excelled, with the best audio gradient ramp-up / ramp-down followed very closely by the Escort 8500 X50.  When approaching a radar source, it is essential that the driver be accurately alerted to the strength of the source.  This way the driver will know whether or not they're actually in position that their speed can be determined by the radar operator.  When either the V1 or the X50 is really close to a radar source, the radar detectors will alert with a solid tone - the equivalence of having the signal strength meter pegged to the max.

The Bel unit never reaches a solid tone - making it more difficult to ascertain the severity of the threat level when up close to the radar source by audio tone alone.  The standard and threat display modes, however, offset this behavior, with clear visual signal strength meters.

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