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Placing your trust into a radar detector
takes time and requires a lot of
driving time behind the wheel and a
proven historical track-record with a
variety of different speed trap
If you skipped to this
section without reading the detailed
findings, you may have missed an aspect
of particular radar detector that you
may find especially appealing.
We concluded that small differences (a
second or so at highway speeds)
were not statistically significant and
were more likely attributed to the
actual placement of the radar detectors and
their respective fields-of-view.
Most windshields have a distinct curve
to them When we compared two
radar detectors we often spaced them apart
about 20 or more inches to minimize
cross-interference. This had the
effect of subtly changing the
field-of-view of the antennae.
Radar detectors mounted on the driverís side
tended to face to the left, radar detectors
mounted center tended to face straight,
and radar detectors mounted on the passenger
side tended to face to the right.
The location of the radar source and curvature of
the road [relative to each radar detector] had
an impact upon the alert
quickness of each. Thatís why
we often turned around and tested them
again on the return, when we encountered
known legitimate radar sources - to
confirm this phenomenon. Throughout this
comparison, we mixed up the relative
positioning of each the radar detectors on the
windshield vertically and horizontally.
That being said after six days of
driving, the accumulation of about 2300
miles and a very good number of speed
trap encroachments in five states - one
fact can safely be asserted: Bottom line
- all three of these radar detectors are
truly stellar performers and we have
yet to encounter a real speed trap that
any of these radar detectors werenít up to the
task of providing the maximum level of
protection that a radar detector is capable of
The days of Valentineís sheer dominance,
in this regard, are history and thatís
really straight talk.
This is not to say that we didnít have
our preferences. We did.
For the most
part, though, these preferences were
more tied to an individual radar detector "personality"
than merely performance differences. Our
preferences may not be the same as yours and thatís
why we went into such detail about the
many different aspects of each radar
detector so that you could arrive at
your own informed opinion/conclusion.
False Rates / Alerts from Unconfirmed
The Escort 8500 X50 appeared to false
the least during our drive, followed
closely by the RX65 Pro which was also
quiet, overall, and then the
Valentine v1.8 /w POP2. As we already
mentioned, the V1 tended to false on
K-band even in rural areas. The V1 v1.7
was devoid of this behavior and falsed
only somewhat more than the RX65.
All were tested at maximum sensitivity
during the duration of this entire test
and were configured to alert to the
following - K, Ka, POP, Laser.
Other than in NJ, X-band was disabled on
all three (four) and Ku band was
disabled [on the RX65 and newer
Valentine One] for the entire duration.
Our venerable V1ís stellar performance
was somewhat diminished by a greater
propensity* to ďfalsingĒ [particularly on
K band]. We originally thought it was
attributed to greater sensitivity but
later felt that this tendency may be
rooted in software because the V1 did
not consistently demonstrate superior
performance [to either the RX65 or X50]
when encountering real K-band radar
*UPDATE: 19 NOV 05 This issue has now been resolved with
an updated version (v3.25) and the detector now
is now one of the quieter ones! In addition, the newer
Valentines have a "J" [for Junk] feature which will
automatically identify some Ka-falses as bogus LO leakage
and auto-mute them out - a very nice touch, indeed. We
will address the additional capabilities and features of our
updated model when we release a follow-on to our report.
We should also note that the Valentine
falsed the least on Ka-band relative to the other two radar detectors and
summer season - Its been suggested
to us - that this may
become more pronounced as there
will tend to be an increase of "cheap"
radar detectors on the road as people do
more vacation traveling. We'll
have to wait and see...
The fact that it has two antennae - one
front and one rear - tended to increase
the falsing rates. It should be noted
that the older V1 was much quieter and
more in line with two
the other radar detectors. It is also important to
point out the K-band falsing didnít
appreciably diminish when POP - the "J"
function - was
disabled, either. At any rate, we
hope this behavior can
and will be programmed out, in time, by
Performance / Alert Quickness to
Bona-fide Radar/Laser Sources
All three brands offered very similar
performance in alerting to bona-fide
There was one exception to this and that
was X-band sensitivity during the NJ
driving route. Here the Valentine V1 and Bel
Pro RX65 performed virtually
identically. For some reason, the Escort
8500 X50 seemed to lag a bit as
compared to the other two. If we drove
routinely in NJ, this may become more
of an issue and we would feel a bit more
secure with either the RX65 or V1.
Perhaps it was a production variance;
too aggressive filtering/signal
rejection (remember they were all set to
highway mode); the fact that we operated
two detectors in the vehicle (even
though they were spaced far apart), we
donít know Ė but it was the one
noteworthy surprise. If your driving
doesnít take you to NJ and you know that
X-band isnít used in your area then this
is a non-issue.
*UPDATED: 19 NOV 05 We have lived with a later model of the 8500 X50
for several months now and have found that its X-band performance
appears to be more in-line now with the RX-65. Furthermore the
detector appears to be quite a bit more sensative to Laser than its
cousin the RX65. Based-upon our updated experiences, we would
tend to favor the 8500 X50 [over the RX65] if laser was our primary concern.
*More on this subject in the near future.
We still love the arrows, on
either Valentine, in
assisting with identifying a passing
ďthreatĒ and we have been accustomed to
them for well over a decade. But,
we did not specifically encounter a
speed trap, during this test, where they
would have made a substantive difference
- which is not to say that there arenít
specific conditions, where they may
have. And on occasion - as
evidenced on our driving route of day
six - they may be misleading, requiring
The older model has aged
especially well and continues to dazzle
us with reliable top-shelf performance.
Other than not having the newer POP nor
Ku capabilities, this radar detector is still
an incredible performer and we
really wouldn'tfeel any less protected
driving with it [in the states] as
compared to the newer radar detectors.
"No POP," you say? "So what," we
say - troopers should be using the
standard operational mode of the BEE
III anyway so that they can legally
issue tickets and until the day that POP
can be used in that manner (we doubt
that'll ever happen) its more about marketing
hype than a real threat. Is
POP capability nice? Sure, but
this radar detector still remains a
benchmark by which [all] other
radar detectors (including the V1 v1.8)
*UPDATE: 19 NOV 05
We have now lived with an updated version (v3.825) for several months and believe that despite some small glitches
in the "J" programming, that this detector
has become our new reference.
**UPDATE: 17 DEC 05
VR has recently informed us of an updated model (v3.826) that is now shipping
which has had some programming updates to address the aforementioned
glitch. Existing owners may update/upgrade.
This older model only
slightly lagged in Ka-band
sensitivity to its younger brother, the
V1.8 and appeared just slightly quicker
with X and K-band radar, , and provides superior laser detection [even compared to the newer models of Bel & Escort] - an
incredible accomplishment given
that it's almost two decades
old! No doubt, that's why they
fetch a premium on
E-bay. For its time (come to
think of it, for all time), it truly is
an engineering marvel!
If you're looking for the
maximum sensitivity [particularly with laser]
and/or require directional
information about the radar source, then
the Valentine One still stands alone.
In our opinion, Valentines aren't really
designed for the casual radar
radar detector user - requiring more
involvement from its owner to interpret
Other than the X-band performance, the
RX65 Pro and 8500 X50 were essentially
interchangeable. So any
decision would have to made on your
perceptions of the findings reported
A tremendous amount of thought has gone
into the design of the Beltronics RX65
Pro and it shows.
Ergonomically, the Bel RX65 was superior
we loved the quick re-programming
ability, the volume levels obtainable, band
audio clarity, its smaller size, the
overall quietness of operation [lack of falsing]
even on highway mode, that it
can be operated in Dark Mode, provided remote volume adjustment with
audio assistance -at a touch of a button
[on the lighter plug] and that changes
to operation are accompanied by
textual/tonal confirmation and most
importantly that is was consistently
quick at alerting to approaching threats
regardless of the radar / laser used.
The fact that is has the added
capability to detect Ku radar - which
has been in use in Europe for quite some
time and may soon be making its
appearance stateside, is a real plus.
Each radar detector has its own
flavor and each has its rightful
in the marketplace.
Our Overall Preference
Throughout these tests, we found
ourselves favoring the comparison of
both the RX65 Pro and V1.
And, in fact, although itís not
practical for most, we enjoyed driving
with both radar detectors in operation Ė they
appeared to get along quite nicely. If one alerted while the other remained
silent, we would feel more assured that
we could disregard the alert. If
both alerted, we were more inclined to
react immediately. This too,
applied to our match-ups of the V1 and
Taking everything into
consideration- if we had
only to pick one radar detector to
take with us on our trip, it would be
the Beltronics RX65 Pro.
If laser was
our primary concern, then we would opt for either the
Valentine V1 or the Escort 8500 X50.
what's your preference?
Purchase These and Other Radar Detectors with Confidence at these Trustworthy Purchasing Sources:
Beltronics STi Driver Review
Escort Passport 9500i
How to Avoid Speeding Tickets with your Radar Detector
The Ultimate Radar Detector Review
The Ultimate Laser Detector Review
Summary Radar Detectors Buyers Guide
Beyond viewing this site, you can continue keep-up with the latest info about our continuing long-term comparisons of the top performing models and our real-world driving experiences (frequently updated) by visiting the VeilGuy blog.
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Now that you are considering arming yourself with a good detector,
learn safely how to avoid speeding tickets!
When paired with a good detector,
VEIL provides you with precious additional reaction time - time you wouldn't otherwise have -
and enables you to avoid speeding tickets.
See how VEIL improves all detector performance in these cool videos!
Hear what VEIL drivers are saying about how VEIL helped their detector
beat a speeding ticket!
We have invited each of the
manufacturers to provide
commentary in response to this
article and will include them in our
review as we receive them.
We will discuss our findings, with our
readers, on the
radardetector.net forum. Your participation is welcomed and weíll
provide updates when deemed appropriate.
We wish you safe motoring!
Bob & Lisa (aka: The Veil Guy & Veil
Veil Guy & Veil Gal Renew Wedding Vows
in Vegas - 08 JAN 05
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