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I've never owned one, but from reading threads here it seems many of you have.

Is radar going to be terribly effective against the Elise ? I would think it's combination of small,low,rounded,fibreglass,aluminum
would make it a tough target.

How do radar detectors work anyway ? It would seem to me that
they couldn't sense "waves" in the neighborhood. They would only sense a direct hit at their sensor. By then isn't it too late anyway ?


Thanks

Steve
 

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I too am interested in responses from people who know what they're talking about - I don't but that's never stopped me before...:rolleyes:

I believe that when people use the term "radar" it's a bit of a generic term, because in fact nowadays most law enforcement uses laser to estimate speeds (please correct me if I'm wrong here). I believe that either X-band radar or laser is effectively instantaneous (laser more so) and once they've got you in their sites they've "gotcha". This is one reason I've always doubted how effective these radar detectors really are. However, I have heard that the better detectors are quite good at detecting the presence of radar operations at a great enough distance to provide adequate warning, though.

Radar detector advocates, please feel free to educate us and set me straight.
 

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I do not know what I am talking about :) but I have my experiences to add in.

You can be screwed with Instant On Photo or Laser. However, your hope is that you get some scatter from them targetting someone else. If you are alone on the road, forget it.

Though often I find police cars can dribble some X band so there is that.

I did get a ticket in Nevada from Instant On even though I had my V1. I also got a ticket in Arizona from VASCAR, so nothing is perfect.

I have probably driven 15,000 miles or so with a V1. I have only seen the laser detector go off a couple times, and that may have been from a camera or something, I could not locate a speed enforcement source. I have rarely seen instant on too.

99% of the time, is X or Xa band, and most of that is Xa, though I have seen X specially in small towns. And the V1 locates them very well.
 

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Hi Randy -

A glossary may be in order !

V1 - is that the Valentine 1 detector ?

Not sure what is Vascar ?

X, Xa are types of radar bands,

Intant On ?
 

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Officers around here use either Laser or Ka, most of the time. The V1 has alerted me of upcoming traps, where there is a constant radar signal, or the officer was using instant-on with drivers ahead of me. This is pretty beneficial on the street.

On the highway, you can be following a motorcycle cop a mile ahead and know it, if he has some kind of radar system on. This past weekend my Ka was giving low level warning for 5 minutes straight and then started to grow stronger. Sure enough, there was a motorbike cop that had pulled someone over.

The arrows really do make a difference as you can locate upcoming traps or things behind you. If you still can't find the threat, you know when you are passing it. With the 8500, all you know is strength and band. The more information the better.

Still, the most important thing is to keep your eyes open, whether or not you have electronics. Next is to speed smartly in areas that are both "safe" and less likely to get you caught. It's could be the difference between sniffing out an instant-on laser attack or getting a ticket.

Just remember that a V1 just adds to the available information, but it isn't a license to speed.
 

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Randy,
Interesting that you have only encountered laser a few times. Two weeks ago a motorcycle cop started to raise his gun. I promptly downshifted and squeezed the brakes a bit, and sure enough, the V1 started to scream. The beam has only scattered off another object and given me advanced warning once. But anyway, it's becoming more common in Poway/Scripps, but Ka still is the most common.

Mike,
V1 is the Valentine 1. Passport 8500 is pretty good too, but after you get your ticket, you won't care about the $100 price difference. ;)

When an officer has his radar unit on constantly, you usually have a huge amount of advanced warning. You know those signs that show the speed at which you are traveling? The V1 can snuff those out at over a mile away. Instant-on is when the officer does not release any radar waves until he attempts to measure your speed, thus eliminating any advanced warning. That is how I understand it anyway.

Typically shopping mall automatic doors, microwaves, and such set off the X band on the V1. Learn to memorize and decode these warnings, when you pass by certain spots. I run the unit in advanced logic mode, as the other two modes let too much garbage through.
 

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Here's from experience when MW and I brought her Celica GTS across the country, from Mass., Northern Route.

All along the route, the V1 would pick up signals, probably from scatter as Randy said. So we became extra cautious whenever we got a single blip.

Typically it panned out. Somewhere up the road, either side, would be speed enforcement.

It got to be pretty funny when we got on rolling hills. Sometimes we'd get a huge burst, and then suddenly nothing.

Well, it was funny untill MW got off to get gas, and I got back on the interstate for the next leg.

Here I am on the on-ramp of a highway posted at 80mph. There is virtually no traffic. I simply floored the car up the on-ramp onto an interstate with rolling hills.

Not a peep out of the radar for about 10-11 seconds. When I hit 93 mph, all heck broke loose on the V1. And MW says, "oh-oh, we're screwed!" for over on the other side, just cresting the hill, was a Minnesota Hi-way Patrolman.

I pulled over to the shoulder even before he made his U-turn across the median.

I swear that it appeared that he waggled his car's tail before pullling up behind me.

Anyway, from our experience, the V1 offers a whole lot of warning provided that one is paying attention to where one is and is doing.
 

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X Band was the first Police Radar. Pretty long range, and it spreads a lot. Still used for automatic door openers and alarm systems. Not too much use by police anymore.

K Band is a narrower beam and shorter range. Still used by a lot of police.

Ka Band is even narrower and shorter range - makes it harder to detect in the distance. A LOT of police radar uses this. It's also used in the "instant on" radars. The police can have the radar in standby mode where it is not transmitting until they "press the button". You can often detect this as short pulses when the police "paint" another car up ahead - if you are by your self and you get "painted" you probably just got ticketed. This is also the band that is usually used by photo radar systems.

All of the above radar bands can be used while the police car is parked or moving. If moving, the radar can detect you ahead or behind, the police car, and coming toward or moving away from the police car. It all depends on which mode is in use. Bottom line is the police car can be moving and still "clock" you.

Laser is also used to clock cars. Laser is very sensitive to motion, and the police car/motorcycle cannot be moving. Although some cops use "hand held" lasers, they really should be used mounted on a tri-pod. Lasers use a very narrow beam to pick out a specific car. They are hard to detect in advance, but some detectors can pick up the scatter when the laser is targeted at cars immediately ahead.

"Regular" radar is still popular with the police that are out patrolling the highways, simply because it can be used while they are moving. The lasers have to be set up as a speed trap.

There is also a new kind of radar, often referred to as "pulsed". The idea is that a very short pulse of Ka band radar is used to paint a car and get a speed "estimate". The pulse is supposed to be so short that a detector cannot lock onto the signal. If the pulsed radar determines that you are speeding, the police officer is supposed to then perform a "regular" clocking of you speed, because the pulse is actually too short and will give wildly erroneous readings - so another independent reading is necessary. Unfortunately, a lot of tickets have been written as a result of the "pulse".

As for the Elise being "invisible" to radar... I doubt it. The radar will pass through the fiberglass (fiberglass is essentially invisible to the radar), and reflect back from the structure underneath. Unfortunately, from the pictures that I have seen, the front bulkhead of the Elise chassis is pretty flat, and probably makes a good reflector. Now, if only we could get some of the Air Force's radar absorbing paint for the inside of the clamshells...:evil:

Oh yea. The V1 (Valentine 1) is the best choice in radar detectors...:clap:
 

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People will tell you it's all laser now, and you're generally gonna be hosed by instant on use, but in my experience this just isn't the case.

Estimate my V1 has netted me 4 figures in saved tickets...
 

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I don't think I saw where anyone explained what VASCAR is. So, VASCAR is just a standard way of timing someone through two set points. VASCAR It's wildly open to abuse.

In PA local cops aren't allowed to use radar (not sure about laser). Too much abuse and "visitor taxes" got it banned. Local PA cops use VASCAR or just a stopwatch. I've also seen them use a device that measures speed by how long it takes you to break a light beam. There is a light emitter on one side of the road and a reflector on the other.
 

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Radar Detector Questions

Having grown up in the first state to use radar for speed enforcement, and the state with the highest per capita speed enforcement budget per person, I've found that the V1 is the best all-around detector. Here in CT, Laser is now used as much as Radar and being a light beam, when you detect it, it's usually too late. I've had a lot of success using a jammer against Laser enforcement. It gives you more time to react before the Laser locks in your speed. Also, I've found that smaller targets are tougher to aim at so the small, low profile of the Elise will be a tougher target for a Laser beam (but not unescapable). The National Motorists Association (www.motorists.com) has a wealth of information regarding the various speed enforcement devices and how they work. I drive over 25,000 miles per year (in many states).
 

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I've never owned one, but from reading threads here it seems many of you have.

Is radar going to be terribly effective against the Elise ? I would think it's combination of small,low,rounded,fibreglass,aluminum
would make it a tough target.

How do radar detectors work anyway ? It would seem to me that
they couldn't sense "waves" in the neighborhood. They would only sense a direct hit at their sensor. By then isn't it too late anyway ?


Thanks

Steve

Radar will be less effective against the elise than a vehicle with flat steel panels, which is most vehicles on the road, simply because it is smaller and the radar will be reflecting off of the chassis, engine, and other sporadic metal parts instead of a flat body panels, giving it less of a radar cross section (RCS). Whoever said that the fiberglass panels are invisible to radar is correct. That said, radar will still work, as it works on bikes with an even smaller RCS than the elise. This doesn't apply to laser, as fiberglass is not invisible to the laser wavelengths, and they will bounce off the body panels.

I'm not sure anyone fully answered the question 'how radar detectors work'. They work by sending out a weak signal that mixes with incoming radar signals (in X, K, Ka bands), and produces a signal that is easier to detect than if they were just a passive reciever detecting the above radar bands. By sending out a signal instead of just being passive (as in an FM radio passively detects FM signals without sending out anything), this also allows the radar detector to function somewhat around curves & hills. While the radar from a radar gun is focused into a beam initally, as soon as it leaves the gun it scatters somewhat, allowing you to pick up scattered waves before you are in the "main beam" of radar, giving you time to slow down. Scattering occurs less with laser, but still occurs, which allows early detection.

As everyone has said, "constant-on" method is being used less and less, as it is easily evaded by those with radar detectors. "Instant-on" K and Ka band is used most of the time now, and like someone said, if you're by yourself on the road there is a good chance you'll be pulled over. But many times the cop will pull the trigger on someone within a mile ahead of you, so you detect it at a distance and can slow down.

By the way, the reason laser can't be used when the cop is in motion is that it detects differently than radar. For radar, your speed is measured by the doppler shift of the returning signal (i.e. the phase difference of the returning signal as compared to the outgoing signal caused by your motion relative to the police car), where laser systems send a series of pulses out and measure the distance of your car at different points in time - kind of like a high-tech stopwatch method. The current laser systems can't take into account any motion of the cop car, so they are only used as stationary systems.

From my experience in PA and NJ, laser is used very little compared to radar, although use is increasing. Still 95% of the time my detector goes off it is due to radar. And as to the question of whether or not they are effective - I'd say 97-98% of the times I've been able to brake hard and avoid a ticket - that's many thousands of dollars in tickets. Still, having an alert eye for cops hidden along the highway is as effective, and together they provide a great defense against radar.
 

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TimMullen said:
As for the Elise being "invisible" to radar... I doubt it. The radar will pass through the fiberglass (fiberglass is essentially invisible to the radar), and reflect back from the structure underneath. Unfortunately, from the pictures that I have seen, the front bulkhead of the Elise chassis is pretty flat, and probably makes a good reflector. Now, if only we could get some of the Air Force's radar absorbing paint for the inside of the clamshells
The last time I was up at aberdeen test center, I was sorely tempted to pick up some of this stuff that was laying around. I suspect you could pick some up from this or another company, and put it behind the fiberglass. Gluing it to the leading edge of the tub and radiator might reduce your RCS, but without some serious test equipment who knows.
 

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Thank you gmoneyjive, nice informative writeup. Lots of good info out there from everyone, in fact.
 

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The only thing I've seen trigger the laser portion of my V1 is the third brake lights of some GM suvs.

The directional feature of the V1 is *very* helpful when evaluating a potential threat.
 

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I've been using a detector (Passport 8500) for 3 years, and have never seen police use X band. It's pretty much all K and Ka around here, and other states I have driven through. In the majority of all cases, they have the radars on permanently, even while the car is parked and there's nobody sitting in it. Laser seems to be getting more common, I heard from various people that they got caught. I picked up two or three laser alerts so far, and was never stopped, so it looks like you still have a chance to slow down. Might have been luck, they say that it's mostly too late when you get the laser alarm.

Edit, slightly off topic: I don't get the false laser alarms from LED tail lights that some people reported here with the V1. I was closely behind a Cadillac and a G35 recently while they were braking, and the detector was quiet. So the Passport doesn't seem to have this problem.
 

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ConeFusion said:
Edit, slightly off topic: I don't get the false laser alarms from LED tail lights that some people reported here with the V1. I was closely behind a Cadillac and a G35 recently while they were braking, and the detector was quiet. So the Passport doesn't seem to have this problem.
It's only from some GM third brake lights.

As for x-band, just a warning - cops in eastern Oregon use it still.
 

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ConeFusion said:
In the majority of all cases, they have the radars on permanently, even while the car is parked and there's nobody sitting in it.
I suspect they do this to slow down drivers with radar detectors, as well as make the detectors "cry wolf" more often. The lower the signal to noise they can make it, the less people will trust their detectors, increasing the chance that they get caught later with an instant on.
 

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I got a passport escort srx, because it mounts on my bumpers, so the cops can't tell I have one. It doesnt endear you to the police over who pulled you over for rolling a stop sign when you've got a radar detector hanging in the window. Anyways, it doesn't have the range of a v1, but it's always been enough for me, and unless you know specifically what you're looking for, you can't tell I have it. Oh, and I usually get X or Ka. I've gotten laser twice in two years.


edit: realized it was X, not Xa
 
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