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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

Radar Detector Review '05
Unabridged Version 

Valentine One Escort 8500 X50 Beltronics RX65

Test Day #2 – 10 JAN 05 - (Phoenix, AZ to Tombstone, AZ)

We set off on the second leg of our trip at 1345.  At the time, it was raining slightly and 57F.  Our trip odometer read 370 miles.

north phoenix embassy suites
Rainy Morning in Phoenix, AZ

Our first heads-up comparison was the Bel RX65 Pro versus the Valentine One v1.8 /wPOP2. There were no noteworthy encounters other than a couple of “falses.”

radarbusters crew
Mr. & Mrs. Veil Guy, Mr. & Mrs. RadarBusters & Crew

We caught up with Radar Roy of Radar Busters at Wickenburg, AZ and got the tour of his operation and met the “crew.”  Roy had provided us with some useful directions which included an incredibly scenic route towards southern Arizona and our second destination.

enjoying the sunset on vulture mine road vulture mine road - typical beautiful scenic road
Dusk at Vulture Mine Road - South of Wickenburg, AZ

At a trip odometer reading of 431 miles, we compared the RX65 (low driver side mounting) to the 8500 X50 (low center-passenger mounting).  As we were heading East on Interstate 8 the RX65 alerted Ka for about 2 seconds then alerted with two distinct POP alerts and then another Ka alert at greater strength around the Palo Verde Road exit.

No visual ID of officer was possible given the fact that it was dark, but it did feel like a real instant-on trap.  The X50 remained silent during this encounter.  Given the fact that we couldn’t make the actual ID, no decisive conclusion could be made.

Later, traveling I-10 East approaching stationary K-band at 24ghz speed monitoring sign located on far side of crest on highway located at the perimeter of a road construction area and facing us, the RX65 alerted approx 1-2 seconds before the x50 at 70-75mph.

We then switched out the X50 with the Valentine One v1.8 w/POP2 to once again compare it to the RX65 Pro.  Our trip reading at the time of this switch was 708 miles at the intersection of Route 80 and I-10E at the Benson exit #303.

Approaching a small town with light traffic at night, we visually identified a police car on our side of roadway quite a ways a way with its lights flashing.  Shortly thereafter, the V1 alerted to Ka about one second prior to the RX65 Pro at a reported frequency of 35.507Ghz.  During the encounter the V1 briefly lost the signal while the RX65 continued reporting to Ka band radar.

When got close enough to make a valid ID, we saw the that the patrol car was facing away from us and situated behind a pulled-over vehicle.   As we passed the patrol car, the V1 continued alerting to Ka about 5-6 seconds longer from the rear than the RX65 at a speed of about 35mph.  This behavior was in keeping with the fact that the V1 has an additional rear-facing antenna.

Since we knew we had a legitimate radar source, we turned vehicle around a ways down the road and proceeded towards the police car from the other direction.  The officer was out of site as the road had a fairly sharp left bend to it.  This time, the RX65 alerted about one second prior to the V1.

Our conclusion from this encounter was that the radar detectors were equally quick in alerting to this source and the slight differences were likely attributed to placement and field-of-view of each of the radar detectors.

We turned around once more and continued to our next destination for the evening – the Tombstone Sagebrush Inn located in historic Tombstone, AZ.

no gunfight tonight  at the sagebrush inn rog and sue of the sagebrush inn
Roger & Sue of the Sagebrush Inn - Tombstone, AZ

Roger and Sue are the proprietors of the Sagebrush and, as always, were a real pleasure to stay with.  Roger provides personalized tours of the area and is a good source of the local history and the locations of real ghost towns that are located in southern Arizona, like Gleeson.  Don’t forget to inquire about directions to the John & Sandy Weber's  rattlesnake crafts store and museum – run out of a trailer on the outskirts of an authentic ghost town.

We personally prefer staying in the Doc Holiday room, although every room has its own distinct personality.  If you ever visit Tombstone - site of the famous gun fight - we recommend staying here.  It has a great western feel to it.  Roger & Sue serve hot coffee and Danish every morning, outside by the pool, as well as interesting conversation. The mornings are comfortably cool even during the dead of summer and the air quality is great.  We make it a point to stay there every time we visit the area.

arriving late at the sagebrush inn

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