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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 #6, Evening/Early Morning of 19-20 FEB 05 (Philadelphia to Atlantic City and Back)

At the last minute, Mr. & Mrs. Veil Guy got a hold of a pair of front row seats to a Brooks and Dunn concert at the Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino located at Atlantic City, NJ.  Since our route was going to take us on the Philadelphia corridor to the shore - the Atlantic City Expressway - which is also replete with NJ state police, we figured we update our report to include any additional radar encounters.

We set-up [what turned out to be] our favorite pair of radar detectors - the Beltronics RX 65 Pro (low and center) and the Valentine v1.8 (low and left).

We set out at around 1830 local time and proceeded to our venue without any noteworthy
incidents; it was on our return trip when the "fun" began.

At 0045, we were headed east and north back towards Philadelphia approaching the end of the AC expressway at the point the expressway merges into Route 40 North.  At this time, both radar detectors alerted at the same time to X-band and then both went silent.  A few seconds later, both alerted again for several more seconds and at a somewhat greater signal strength.
On and off they went several more times in unison as we made our way onto Route 40 towards the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Our expectations of an approaching instant-on radar trap were confirmed about 20 seconds later when we spotted the trooper in the median facing us and selectively targeting on-coming vehicles.   During the last eight seconds of the trap, both radar detectors alerted with strong signals. We were traveling at about 75-80mph at the time of our contact and slowed down to a more reasonable 65mph as we passed the speed trap.

An interesting observation was made concerning the Valentine: for some finite period of time, it indicated that the source was coming from behind us.  Which is to say, that the directional arrows can sometimes be "wrong" or misleading at indicating from where the real threat is coming.  This was most likely due to a rear reflection of the radar beam from the trailing traffic/objects.

This experience demonstrated, once again, that the Valentine requires a bit more driver involvement to properly interpret what information is actually being conveyed.  Something one gets used to doing, after living with this radar detector for an extended period, and am in no way being critical of this behavior, either - merely pointing out a fact.

Within another minute of passing this trap both radar detectors again briefly alerted simultaneously with another X-band alert.  We initially though this was coming from the trap we just passed only to find that both radar detectors again alerted with a stronger X-band signal and the Valentine correctly identified the source as from being ahead.  This suggested that we were approaching another radar source which turned out to be another real speedtrap.  This time, facing away from us - the trooper was again in the median targeting the opposing southbound traffic.  Total time to trap from initial alert was about 10 seconds at approximately 78mph.

Wow!  Two traps back-to-back within the time span of about a minute.  Both were instant-on pulsed types, and both radar detectors essentially dead-heated and provided us with plenty of time to to safely slow down [to either one] to avoid yet another speeding ticket!

Schuylkill Expressway Leaving the "City of Brotherly Love"

We felt these good experiences merited an addition to our travel log.  We racked up another 200 some odd miles to our drive.

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