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Thread: Radar detector under the hood - models?

  1. #1
    Newbie ErikGreen's Avatar
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    Question Radar detector under the hood - models?

    Hi all -


    After getting my car broken into so some loser could steal a six year old radar detector worth about $10, I find I am missing having one. But, I don't want to lay out a pile of cash for a good one to get it stolen again.

    Mind you, I'm keeping my car in a locked garage now, but that's only completely safe if I never take it out.

    So, I'm looking for any pointers anyone has to OEM type radar detectors... I know this is an option for some vehicles, but I haven't found any place to get one that can be installed after market. Ideally I'd like a unit that has detectors that can be mounted under the hood and the rear of the car, along with a central unit that can go anywhere there's space, and a small display for on the dash.

    Bonus points if it has some sort of interface (serial, etc) that will output signal information and detection warnings so my computer can read them and mark the location...

    Thanks,
    Erik

    PS: Did an install of SPAL power windows and locks, will post a summary when I finish wiring the switches, etc.

  2. #2
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    The only one I know of is made by escort, and will run you about $600-700 total. It mounts sensors in the front bumper and rear bumper, and allows you to mount the central unit almost anywhere in the car, so it can easily be hid. I believe that it also detects laser, but I may be wrong

    Edit: Its called the Escort SR7, and runs $1000 new.

  3. #3
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    There is also the K-40, run you about $ 1,200 installed. You might want to check out local stereo installation shops in your area to see what they do.

    A good site for radar detector information is http://www.radartest.com/, and http://www.radar-detectors.com/default.asp.

    As for installing in a car that is almost thief proof, I have mine permanantly mounted to my mirror. most people are like wtf? (it's not really permanent, but to remove the mount you have to use some screws, at least it looks like that ).

    In your tracker, do you have an overhead bar, like on a jeep? I've heard people mounting the detector on the bar like that, behind them, so it's not easy to see, and it still picks up the signal. btw, stop buying cheap detectors, they don't work.

    Finnaly, I've never heard of a radar detector having an interface built on. I have a headphone/speaker out 3.5mm jack on mine (V-1), which I plan on writing some software on my comp to pick up the different sounds for different alerts (X, K, Ka, L), and mark them on my GPSS map. I'll let you guys know how that works out

  4. #4
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    There a few units out there. Radartest.com did a test on the newer, low priced BEL Vector Remote (Model 975R) and Whistler 3400. The only unit I have ever worked with is the Escort SR7 and it is a great piece. If you're going to get a radar detector you're looking at spending at least $250 US retail to get anything worth while. If you don't want to spend that much put it in savings toward a speeding ticket because it's a better use of your money.

  5. #5
    Newbie ErikGreen's Avatar
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    Cheap detectors....

    Guys - thanks for the info. I'll have to look at picking up one that isn't designed for "remote" use - those prices are killers. I like the idea of maybe mounting one on the roof and back a bit.

    Maybe I can even build a "sensor box" to mount on the roof near my skylight with a hole to the cab for access, and front and rear panels transparent to radar and laser... have to look up what frequencies speed lasers work on. I could use a spot to mount my GPS antenna anyway, and I can easily take off the tracker's front roof to work on it (hardtop).

    Let us know how the experiment with sound recognition/headphone jack goes... that would be a good solution methinks.

    Oh, and I didn't buy a cheap radar detector... it was actually a good model way back when, and I got it as a refurb for about $90 six years ago. Saved me many many tickets. Boggles the mind that a dumb thief had to do $200 in damage to my car to break in and get a 6 year old radar detector though...

    Thanks again all,

    Erik

  6. #6
    Newbie ErikGreen's Avatar
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    Answering my own question

    I found out the wavelength of most traffic lasers is 904nm.

    Since I'm thinking of building a housing for a radar detector (bump on the roof) with windows of lucite (Methyl Methacrylate, aka Poly) there shouldn't be a problem with radar or laser getting through to the detectors other than a bit of attenuation.

    If that's a problem, I can always custom-cut a "window" of auto glass.

    Or I can take the simple way out and just hang the thing on the roof and be done.

    Still thinking this one over.

    Erik

  7. #7
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    i didn't mean actually on the roof, but hang it from the bar down, say just off center of hte driver and passenger seats. on the 350z, one guy has already done that (but he had a convertable, so he had a strut bar in the headrests he mounted it on)

    i don't think i'll have a problem with the sound thing. i'm building it on the concept of dtmf decoder software. i know the sound and frequency of the tones from the radar detector, and which tone means what problem (x, k, ka, l), so i can have the computer put a little black dot with the symbol in it when i get it. of course, having a map of all the false alerts would be good, but i can review any hits afterwords, and maybe find a few speed traps that i just missed or didn't see a cop at.

  8. #8
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    I'm pretty sure the valentine 1 has some sort of concealed display. I have a escort 8500 myself and i used to remove it every time i got out of the car and put it in a compartment. the 8500 uses a fat telephone wire so i jsut bought a 10 foot extension of that and wired it to my cigarette outlet so i could use the mute button incorporated there and also easily hide my display. It worked for me. I now have a viper 791 so i'm not too worried about anyone stealin my radar except when i'm in "bad" areas.

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