To avoid possible troubles, let’s figure out what each of these devices is.
Why is it important? The fact is that the legislation of a number of European countries, as well as Russia, prohibits the use of radar detectors, and severe punishment is provided for the violation of this requirement for a car owner using such a device.
What is an anti-radar and a radar detector
An anti-radar is an active device that is capable of generating high-power interference in certain radio frequency spectra or modulating a response signal that is superior in power to the original one from a direction-finding radar.
In other words, the anti-radar is capable of capturing and drowning out the signal of the direction finding device. As a result, the police radar will either not give any result, or will show the readings that the radar detector has modulated for it. Other methods of misleading the radar are also used – a kind of “trickery”.
These can be laser radar detectors or so-called shifters that modulate the response signal, as a result of which not the real speed, but a fictitious one, is transmitted to the traffic police radar in coded form.
Since, in essence, this is a means of deceiving law enforcement agencies and, as lawyers say, even obstruction of justice, such devices are prohibited for use – up to and including confiscation of the device, a fine and criminal liability.
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The principle of operation of the radar detector
When measuring speed, the traffic police radar captures the radiation reflected from your car, and the radar detector picks up direct signals from the direction finding device. This is the point of using a radar detector – it always detects an active radar much earlier than it has time to measure the speed of your car.
How to choose a radar detector
One of the criteria for choosing a radar detector is its sensitivity and the possibility of maximum filtering out interference, which is quite a lot – especially in cities. Radar detectors use two types of signal amplification: direct amplification and amplification based on local oscillator and superheterodyne.
The first type is considered obsolete – the radiation of the amplifier itself is practically zero. This type of amplifier picks up little interference due to its low sensitivity, is cheap to manufacture and easy to set up.
The second method is much more advanced. Such a device has characteristic radiation, due to which the percentage of interference also increases, and also requires the amplifier to be tuned in terms of frequencies and the creation of complex schemes for filtering out false interference. But radar detectors with superheterodyne are much more expensive.
Police radars use several standardized radio frequencies, the oldest and most basic of which is the 10525 GHz frequency, called the X-band. On its basis, many domestic radars were created, such as the popular Barrier, Sokol and others. This frequency is now technically obsolete.
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A more recent band for traffic radars at 24 150 GHz. It allows devices to be relatively small in size and have a detection range one and a half times the range of X-band devices, moreover, in a shorter time.
The new range for police radars with a frequency of 34 700 GHz is considered the most promising due to the shorter period and higher energy potential, which allows these devices to have a detection range of up to 1.5 kilometers with high accuracy in the shortest possible time.
One of the rare bands used in some European countries and operating at a frequency of 13450 GHz. Not applicable in Russia.
In almost all European countries and some US states, the use of radar detectors is prohibited by local law. To ensure the detection of the use of an illegal device, there are several special high-sensitivity radars operating on the 13,000 GHz frequency, called VG-1, VG-2, VG-3 and so on. The car is irradiated by this radar, and the superheterodyne-based radar detector processes this signal. The device sends a return signal to the radio, and the VG radar captures it and determines the source of the signal.
The laser speed meter is based on the reflection of a narrowly focused laser beam from an obstacle. This principle is simple, but with each turn of the evolution of such rangefinders, the pulse frequency and the length of the laser beam changed. Almost all modern radar detectors have built-in sensors for receiving the laser range. They do not like atmospheric disturbances like rain or fog, so they work confidently only in clear weather.
Where are radar detectors banned?
Yes, yes, in many countries not only active radar detectors are banned, but also banal radar detectors. Among them, for example, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Finland, France, Switzerland and Estonia, as well as some states in the United States.
The degree of responsibility for their use depends on the state. If in Latvia this is a fine and confiscation of the device, but in Luxembourg, for example, it is already imprisonment.
Why are classic radar detectors so big?
By the way, when entering foreign countries, border guards pay attention to the characteristic suction cup marks on the windshield and may ask you to open the glove box to make sure that you do not carry a radar detector with you.
It will be much safer to simply observe the speed limit – you may lose a few minutes, but save your nerves and money. And definitely don’t lose your freedom.
And if you are still a supporter of the use of radar detectors, take a closer look at these models from our reviews:
- NEOLINE X-COP 9300c review: a hybrid of a radar detector and a DVR
- Overview of the Neoline X-COP 8700s radar detector: the all-seeing eye
- Neoline X-COP 9100 hybrid test: DVR and radar detector – two in one