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Jan 25, 1999 (12:36 am)
I am interested in upgrading my radar detectors
with laser capability. Any opinions? Seen recent
magazine articles on comparisons?
Jan 25, 1999 (1:31 am)
Same here Mike regarding upgrading. When you read reviews they seem to all come up with different "winners". Right now, the Valentine 1 appears to consistently be very highly thought of but I would like to know more if anyone has any thoughts...
#3 of 1208 Rgeller
Jan 25, 1999 (7:53 pm)
Valentine 1 appears at the top of everyones list, but it is VERY expensive ($399, no discount). There was an excellent article in Oct 98 issue of Automobile, which rated Uniden 6599SWS #2. this unit while listing for $260, can be had for 139.99 It works very well and got excellent laser detection ratings.
#4 of 1208 Automobile mag review
Jan 26, 1999 (11:21 pm)
The review by Automobile mag can be found at
Valentine 1 #1, Uniden #2. Also, Valentine has a website. They have a response there for some of the "negatives" in the article even though they were the highest rated.
Jan 29, 1999 (6:41 pm)
Check out www.speedlabs.com - they test radar & laser jammers & detectors & have a videotape you can buy of their tests. As far as Automobile's report goes, I wouldn't give it too much weight...the V1 is a great detector, but probably not worth the price. The BEL 855STi beat it in Speedlabs' test, which was based solely on instant-on performance. Stationary radars, whether around bends, over hills, wherever, are *no* problem for any modern detector. Problem is, cops know this about stationary radar traps...everyone's gone to instant-on hits. In these cases, your only shot is jamming or to have a detector sensitive enough to pick up a hit on the guy in front of you (if there is one).
Jan 29, 1999 (6:42 pm)
Forgot to mention...not one radar detector is going to save you from laser...when it goes off, you are getting a ticket. Get a laser jammer.
Jan 29, 1999 (8:13 pm)
With all due respect, I beg to differ on the relevance of Automobile mag review or whether their testing is inferior to Speedlabs. The Auto mag review, while somewhat puzzling at times, is far more thorough than one instant-on test. And while instant-on is the most feared and dangerous radar (short of laser which is not as common as yet), the others are still out there. Other factors such as false alerts, response to other bands, etc. are still very important.
I own a Bel 745 which was top of the line Bel several years ago. I have not been pleased with the significant number of false alerts on K and Ka band to the point that I almost ignore it. That along with the fact that the 855 placed 4th in the Auto mag review makes me want to look elsewhere. Regarding the V1, it's high on my list as I can see the benefit for knowing which direction the signal is coming from, the benefit of a rear facing antenna, and I have several friends that swear by them. BTW, take the price of a Bel or Whistler and add a rear facing remote antenna and the price gets closer.
I also believe the V1 can be upgraded as upgrades become necessary or available. My purchase of a 745 was an "upgrade" from a previous detector I had purchased two years earler...add the price of the two together and thats a few $$$. Now I'm in the market again.
I don't like the idea of dropping $400 on a detector but unless I see or read something that convinces me otherwise I plan on going with a V1.
#8 of 1208 div2
Jan 30, 1999 (3:07 pm)
A lot of people believe that Craig Peterson (Automobile's expert) is prejudiced against the V1. There is a rumor that Valentine Research had refused to hire him as a consultant. One of his persistant criticisms of the V1 was that the direction arrows were "confusing". I consider them essential. It seems that the V1's performance increased to the point that even Mr. Peterson had to acknowledge the fact.
Jan 30, 1999 (5:34 pm)
I understood the same thing regarding Peterson's bias....which if true, makes the results of the Automobile review more credible.
As mentioned previously, I actually found the review and tests somewhat puzzling. For example, why would one unit test longer on Ka than another on a straightaway but shorter when the Ka is hiding in a curve due "to higher sensitivity"?
To me, false alerts are my biggest problem to overcome. Get enough of them and then you start ignoring real problems. It's not so much highway as it is metropolitan areas. You can drive all over the city of Atlanta and deal with 70+MPH speeds through areas loaded with radar emitting devices....most of which are not speed detection.
At least if you have directional arrows like the V1 you may get some help discerning the difference between false and real problems.
Still studying the situation.....before I buy.
Just my .02
#10 of 1208 C13
Jan 31, 1999 (3:54 am)
Automobile's credibility has been challenged before.
If memory serves, on one of their old radar detector tests, the expert (Peterson?) was later accused of being in the employ of one of the manufacturers (whose products did very well on the test). It turns out that the allegation was true. The magazine published an admission of this, "but we stand by our test results".
I don't ask anybody to take my word for it, since I can't make specific allegations, but for my money, the magazine and the editor have lost all credibility.
They're also one of the sillier, more juvenile car magazines.
Car & Driver, which I generally think tries to do a respectable job of reporting, found the 'jammers' that they tested to be worthless.