Test Day #4, 14 JAN 05 – (Sasabe, AZ
to Las Vegas, NV)
If was Friday, sunny and the temperature
was 66F, our final leg of our trip out
West started at 906 miles on the trip
odometer. We set out towards Vegas from
the small town of Sasabe at 1325.
We began our comparison of both
Valentines - v1.8/POP2 versus v1.7. They
were separated by about 26 inches the
left-side was occupied with the v1.8 and
the right side was occupied with the
V1.7. Both were mounted high on the
windshield, but below any tint-strip.
While traveling on Route 86W the V1 v1.7
alerted about three to four seconds
prior to the V1 v1.8 to what turned out
to be an approaching cruiser operating
steady K-band although both offered
plenty of time to slow down to avoid
Later on this route the V1.8 alerted
prior to the V1.7 on Ka-band radar which
turned out to be a cruiser approaching
on the left opposing side of the road.
We encountered one more police cruiser
on this road. This time the V1.7 alerted
first to K-band at a signal strength of
two to three followed by the V1 v1.8 at
level one. Again, this turned out to be
an approaching cruiser operating with
steady K-band radar.
We briefly visited Kitt Peak National
Observatory but couldn’t stay as they
were closing at 1600 and we had a lot a
miles ahead of us. At 1620 we turned
around before reaching Ajo and headed
back east on Rt-86 towards Tucson, AZ.
Kitt Peak National Observatory.
Later on I-10W the radar detectors falsed
simultaneously to laser twice as the sun
was setting – once at 1700 and once at
1720. During this section of our
comparison, the V1 v1.8 falsed with very
radar quite a bit more than the V1 v1.7.
On I-10W approaching Phoenix, both
radar detectors alerted to a very strong blast
of Ka from the rear during a lane
changing / passing maneuver immediately
after an overpass. Fortunately for
us, there was some traffic, otherwise we
would have likely received a citation as
we were traveling at about 90mph at the
time both radar detectors went off.
Had it not been for the other traffic,
we would have been dead-meat.
Neither radar detector provided us with
advanced warning to what was obviously a
speed trap and no radar detector would have
likely provided us with advanced notice
as these officers were discriminating
and patient with their operation of
Something We Did Not Expect to See in
Even though the X50 and RX65 weren’t in
operation at the time, given the
strength of the radar, we are certain
they would have sounded their alerts as
well. The V1 with its arrows, did allow
us to quickly identify the source of the threat, although it wouldn’t
have made a bit of difference as we
immediately slowed down even before we
actually noticed the arrows.
Roy later confirmed that pulsed-Ka is
operated from the rear around Casa
Grande on I-10.
We then changed up the radar detectors and
mounted the V1 v1.8 on the left high
side and the 8500 X50 on the high right
side separated by about 26+ inches. Time
of day of the change was 1830.
Temperature was 63F and the evening was
clear. Miles accumulated so far were
In our first real radar encounter with
this match up, the X50 alerted 1st to
Ka-band radar at a reported 34.737Ghz by
about a second before the V1 v1.8 did. We felt the V1 v1.8 had the advantage as
it had a better line of sight to the
approaching vehicle on the other side of
the divided interstate even though it
alerted after the X50. Our speed was
about 80mph at time of contact. Both
provided ample notice to slow down
We later received a brief false K alert
for two-three cycles on v1.8 while the
X50 stayed silent.
In the next real encounter, the V1 V1.8
alerted to Ka at 35.491Ghz about 0.5
seconds before the X50 which turned out
to be a police cruiser operating steady
Ka radar facing us with a car pulled
over on the opposite side of the
During this part of test, the 8500 X50
and the V1 1.8 performed virtually
identically and both offered impressive
As we made our way back towards
Wickenburg, AZ north on Vulture Mine
Road (and located in the middle of the
desert) the v1.8 “falsed” multiple times
to very weak K-band while the X50 remained silent. We had a good laugh –
even when we were in the middle of the
desert, the V1 alerted to K-band. What on
earth was it listening to? An
At 2000, we switched up our radar detectors.
This time we positioned the 8500 X50
left and high and the RX65 right and
high with about 26+ inches between them.
The temperate was about 50F, weather was
clear and the miles accumulated to this
point was 1226.
We called Roy, who promptly ordered us a
pizza! Thanks man, we were hungry! We
ate dinner with Roy and shared some of
We left Roy's place at 2137
on to our final leg of our Western route.
Miles at the time of our departure were
On Route 93N back towards the
Hoover Dam, we received a K-alert on the
RX65 at a reported 24.138Ghz about 0.5
seconds prior to the 8500 X50.
Shortly afterwards, the X50 alerted 1st
by a tick on K-band at 24.132Ghz. The
RX65 indicated the same source to be
operating at 24.122Ghz (they routinely
differed by 10mhz.) Turned out to be a
speed sign operating steady K-band radar
facing the opposite direction on the
other side of the road. After passing
the sign, the RX65 continued to report a
little longer than the X50.
Later the X50 alerted 1st to K-band at a
reported 24.132Ghz briefly before the
RX65 which indicated K-band at
24.122Ghz. As we suspected with our
previous encounter, it was another speed
sign this time facing us.
As we got closer to the Hoover Dam the
RX65 alerted 1st to K-band, at a
reported 24.140Ghz, by a tick before the
X50. This source too turned out to be
another speed sign facing the other
This back and forth repeated a couple of
more times as we continued north toward
Vegas on Route 93.
Shortly after we entered the state of
Nevada and continuing on our northerly
track to Las Vegas, both radar detectors
alerted to Ka-band simultaneously. No
visual confirmation could be made of the
source. Was this a case of
instant-on/pulsed radar? Perhaps.
Just before we exited off of Route 93 in
Vegas, we received a K-alert on the X50
for two cycles while RX65 remained
We then received a false laser alert for
approximately 8 cycles from the RX65
while the X50 remained silent. We
attributed this last behavior to the
Conclusion of this match-up based upon
our experiences – the RX65 Pro and 8500 X50
provided nearly identical performance in
alerting to K and Ka radar.
Total miles accumulated at end of our trip in the
West were 1497.
Total speeding tickets accumulated were zero!
Way to go and a job well done with all
three (four) radar detectors. Up to this
point, we would have been entirely happy
with any of the three brands. They
all demonstrated that they were, for all
practical purposes, equally adept in
their primary function – to provide
enough advanced warning to radar so as
to allow their owners the time needed to
safely slow down.
The following morning we washed and returned our
rental vehicle and flew back home to the
Keystone State of PA.
Up to this point we had encountered some
instant-on and steady K and Ka radar
and no one radar detector consistently
performed better than the others.
We knew however, that our radar detector
comparison test was somewhat incomplete
as we did not test for X-band
sensitivity and/or laser performance. Before releasing the results of this
test we wanted to accumulate as much
experience as possible with these
radar detectors so we decided to hold-off on
publishing our findings so that we could
get some additional results with X-band
speed traps. And there is only one
place to go to get 'em…
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