Radar Detector Frequency

Are you puzzled to hear the terms like X band, Ka band etc. during your research for a radar detector? What does this mean when you want to decide on purchasing a Radar detector.

Radar detector with frequency display

If you would like to understand some of the important technical terms and to arm yourself with knowledge that may help you choose a radar detector that fits your criteria please continue to read the article to understand about the frequency bands that are available and the ones that are used by law enforcement.

Radar Frequency

The entire spectrum of radio waves is divided into multiple frequency ranges called band. Of all the available bands the ones that are of our interest includes the following

NameFrequency Range
X band8 – 12 GHz
Ku (K under) band12 – 18 GHz
K band18 – 24 GHz
Ka (K above) band24 – 40 GHz

In the United States the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the following frequency band for speed monitoring radar equipment.

NameFrequency
X band10.5 GHz
K band24.125 GHz
Ka (K above) band33.4 - 36.0 GHz

Hence the police radar works only in the frequency range mentioned above.

In the US, Radar gun manufacturers only produce devices operating on a frequency of 33.8, 34.7 and 35.5 GHz in the Ka band.

There is also Ku band that operates at 13.435 GHz but this is mostly used only in Europe and Asia. Some manufacturers like the cobra XRS9370 can detect this frequency.

X Band

X band was the first radar band allocated for police radar. These days they are less commonly used because it can be easily detected due to its low frequency and higher power output. The number of false alerts in this band are plentiful.

Most automatic door openers, microwave intrusion alarms and other high-tech equipment operate in the same frequency band and generate false alerts.

X-band alerts still should be taken seriously especially when driving on the highway until its source can be determined.

K Band

This is a newer band of frequency that is more commonly used. K-band radar waves has a relatively smaller wavelength

Some blind spot monitoring systems, automatic door openers operate in this frequency band and can be a cause of falser alerts.

Ka band

This is the newest and mostly frequently used band in the US. There are very few false alerts in this band and every alert in this band should be taken seriously.

Choosing a Radar Detector

Now that we have an understanding of different radar bands it is critical to ensure that the radar detector that we choose can detect the range of frequencies mentioned below. This will ensure maximum protection from law enforcement.

NameFrequency Range
X Band10.500 - 10.550 GHz
K Band24.050 - 24.250 GHz
Ka Band33.4 - 36.0 GHz

Conclusion

Car radar detectors are constantly evolving to keep up with the technology used by law enforcement to identify speeding cars. The latest high-end models are packed with useful features. The average user can choose a radar detector wisely by simply learning about a few key features.

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