A radar detector comes with various feature. It can be overwhelming for some one new to this field trying to understand the features to make a buying decision. Of all the available features, a few are more important and essential when choosing a device. These features are the ones that will provide maximum protection to an end user from getting a speed ticket, the main reason why anyone would consider purchasing such a device.
In this article, we will discuss about the top 5 features of a detector that are the most critical when deciding on a device that is either an expensive one with all the bells and whistles or a no frill, inexpensive one.
Sensitivity can be defined as the ability to detect distant as well as weak signals. It is also called detection or warning range. A good device should be highly sensitive. This enables it to detect signals at a long range and provide warning early enough that a driver has time to slow down.
Usually the manufacturers are able to offer a way to control or adjust the sensitivity. They are mostly called ‘’Highway Mode’’ and ‘’City Mode’’.In Highway mode, the sensitivity is at the maximum and in City mode it has reduced sensitivity.
Some manufacturers provide ‘’Auto Mode’’ where the device chooses the appropriate sensitivity mode by sensing the speed of the car to which it is installed.
Selectivity refers to the detector’s ability to filter out signals that are not true police signals, yet operate on the same frequency as a police radar.
A detector with poor selectivity will result in excessive false alarms. Devices such as automatic door openers, intrusion alarms and sometimes poorly designed radar detector operate on the same frequency band as radar guns and are a source of such false alerts.
A good detector has warning systems that are easy to understand and use. A distinct audio alert is one of the important attribute. The alert audio must also be loud enough to be heard.
Voice alerts can also be useful since they eliminate the need to study the visual alert to figure out what the device is trying to tell you.
Some manufacturers do not provide voice alerts but provide visual alert that can display information about the type and the strength of the detected signal.
Full Coverage of Radar and Laser
A good detector should cover all the radar frequency bands and laser signals that are used by law enforcement. Of the entire spectrum of frequency available police use only the X, K and Ka band. In the United states, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the use of frequency and has approved only specific frequency to be used for speed monitoring.
To know more about radar frequency bands, click here
Other than monitoring the conventional frequency a top detector should also have the ability to provide alerts on “instant-on” and “POP” signals.
To understand what is Instant-on and POP, click here
Like radar guns police also use laser guns to determine the speed of a vehicle. So, it is essential that the detector not only detects radar signals but also laser.
Quality and Ease of use
Good quality construction, clear and visible display, intuitive controls, durable mounts and chords are essential for a quality device.
Some manufacturers are able to ship devices that can provide information about the direction of the source of threat and it makes it easier for the driver to know where the threat is. Some also include plug and play features that may enhance user experience.
The technology used by law enforcement for speed monitoring is constantly evolving and so are the radar detectors. No matter how advanced a technology can get the five features discussed above are the ones that need to be evaluated when selecting a device. Though manufacturers offer different features they are mostly available only to complement these features.
Using the information above a buyer of the product should be able to assess and choose a device that best suits his/her need.