Test Day #5, 05 FEB 05 – (PA, NJ, and
We set out to examine the performance of
each of these radar detectors on X-Band so we
headed to the only place where not only
is instant-on/pulsed X-band radar used,
it thrives and it is lethal! That place
is the Garden State of NJ. We selected a
route that would take us through some of
the most heavily patrolled areas in the
entire state, Interstate 78 in the north-western part of the state.
We initially compared the Bel RX65 Pro
to the Valentine One v1.8 (w/POP2) at 28
miles into our trip both radar detectors
alerted about the same time to a sign
with stationary K-band radar above
We proceeded on I-78 east towards NJ. At
31 miles into out trip the Valentine One
alerted to K-band about one second
sooner than the RX65 as we were
traveling about 85mph. The source was
another steady radar sign located in the
median around a left bend in the
interstate that was facing us.
Within three miles both the RX65 and the
V1 alerted K-band almost simultaneously
to another sign located in the median
facing away at the opposing lanes of
traffic after passing the source, the V1
alerted to rear K-band for about 2-3
seconds longer than the RX65.
When we reached the NJ state line, we
enabled X-band radar on both radar detectors
and re-confirmed that each were
Highway sensitivity mode.
During this portion of our
test, we drove a little more
cautiously as compared to the West
because we knew we were swimming
in shark infested waters.
About six miles into the state on I-78E
the Valentine One briefly alerted to a
weak X-band signal about two seconds
prior to the RX65. We were traveling at
about 75-78mph at the time and could not
confirm the source although it was
likely a pickup of pulsed X-band radar usage.
These extremely well-trained radar
operators prove the adage that it is
not the equipment that counts – it’s how
you use it. NJ state troopers operate an
older (but still made) radar unit from
– the in-car
radar unit. It operates on X-band in
either steady or pulsed-modes; when
either moving or stationery. The
been in use in NJ for more than two
decades! No doubt this
equipment has been paid for several
thousand times over!
An all too familiar
site on this stretch of highway.
MPH, happens to be the maker of the
[relatively] new POP killer
BEE III. Don't let the marketing hype throw you,
though - radar detectors will not be
obsolete as it must be operated
in normal mode as legally required
to obtain your
tracking history and thus, alerting
radar detectors in typical fashion.
The technology is pretty cool, but as
you will read, a well-trained radar
operator - regardless of
technology/radar band used - is more of a threat than a
"casual" or carefree POP user.
While driving on this interstate, a
radar detector will often alert to
X-band, but it can be very difficult to
locate the source and we eventually
found out the reason why. We had come
across a state police barracks located
just off the interstate that had a
patrol car that had left a K55 unit on.
During one of our approaches, we watched
and followed a trooper leave the
barracks and drive to what was,
obviously, a preferred speed trap
In this particular trap, the trooper
positioned his vehicle on a very short
on-ramp to the interstate that was
obscured from view, from approaching
drivers, by an embankment and overpass
(see picture). You’ll notice that
the officer is actually pointing his
radar unit on a slight angle to the road
thus directing much of the low-power
radar across as opposed to following the
pulsed X-band K-55 from rear - 20+ yrs
about POP RADAR? No need. Plenty
of other lethal speedtraps lurking about.
Although this limits the actual
targeting distances (by design), it also
makes it much more difficult to detect
the signal regardless of the direction
When this targeting method is combined
with an instant-on, pulsed mode, it
makes for extremely difficult detection
even with the best radar detector.
be very mindful of your speeds when
driving on this interstate -especially when you consider that the
fines are doubled in [the state maximum
of] 65 mph speed zones in NJ.
Having found a legitimate X-band source,
we began an extensive comparison of the
best radar detectors traveling both
directions, east and west-bound, on the
In a heads-up comparison, the V1 alerted
between 0.5 to two seconds before the RX65
to the radar source.
The surprise came with the Escort 8500
X50 / Valentine and Escort 8500 X50 /
RX65 Pro match-ups.
On a westerly approach to the barracks,
the V1 alerted a full five seconds prior
to the X50 while we were traveling at
about 40mph. We ran this test several
additional times to confirm this
At highway speeds of about 80mph on I-78E
the X50 didn’t report the presence of
the radar where the V1 did. On the
return trip I-78W (the barracks was on
this side of the interstate) the V1
alerted about 0.5 to 1 second before the
We repeated the test between the RX65
and the V1 and both alerted almost
simultaneously when the orientation of
the radar detectors was similar.
In an RX65 versus 8500 X50 match-up, the
RX65 alerted about nine seconds before
the X50 at 65mph.
Just to be as complete as possible, we
compared both versions of Valentines
v1.7 versus v1.8. The v1.7 consistently
alerted about 0.5-two seconds prior to
the v1.8 on this X-band radar source.
Having compared all of the radar detectors to a
known legitimate X-band radar source, we
continued on our planned driving route
towards the great state of NY. Our route
took us North on I-287 to the I-87 North
(the New York Thruway). We proceeded to
Exit 17 (Newburgh) in the Catskill region
as our farthest point traveled today.
On our return on I-87 South the V1
alerted first by about 0.5-1 second to a
state trooper’s steady Ka radar unit
in-car unit facing our direction as we
approached exit 16.
Once back in the state of NJ we decided
to change our return route to include
I-80 west towards the Delaware Water Gap
in north-eastern PA and lucky for us, we
At 1730, it was dusk and getting quite
dark and with 23 miles to go before
reaching the PA state line, we thought
we spotted a state trooper positioned in
the median. As I was expecting a radar
shot, I nearly suffered a heart
attack when both the RX65 and V1 alerted
simultaneously to Laser!
Targeting occurred at approximately 1000
feet from the trooper.
I was traveling about 75-78 mph at the
time of the alert and immediately slowed
to about 65mph.
Fortunately, the vehicle I was driving
had a thorough
treatment! I felt reassured that we were able to safely slow down without
I thought we had to drive
to Ohio to test the laser function of
these radar detectors, but found out the hard
way - that despite its inauspicious
beginnings in the state legal system, laser is
now alive and well in
I proceeded to the next exit, turned
around to go through the laser speed
trap again – this time with the 8500 X50
in place of the RX65. By the time I got
back to the trap, the officer had a
vehicle already pulled over. Too
bad, he wasn’t using VEIL!
Another hapless motorist who has not, as
yet, heard of Veil.
I should point out that neither the RX65
nor the V1 provided any advanced warning
to the laser speedtrap – not surprising
given the nature of laser.
We completed the remainder of our
return-trip with no subsequent
Miles accumulated today were 500
bringing the total of our test to about
2000 during five full driving days and
through five states and having faced all
forms of radar / laser bands currently
in use today in North America.
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