Best radar detector
We have tried to avoid answering these questions directly as "best" can mean different things to different people, and it also depends largely where you drive, whether you want a portable unit or a fully installed system and is stealth a requirement? What you should really be asking is, "What is the best radar detector or laser defence for me?" Often an international review has little or no relevance to radar or laser detectors used in Australia. There really is no such thing as "the world's best detector," as it depends where in the world you are.
Our policy has traditionally been to provide a comprehensive range of radar detectors and laser defence available (laser defence is especially relevant now with the latest laser cameras and laser guns now in use all over Australia) at the best possible prices. Typically we provide the product specifications and allow our customers to make an informed decision.
We want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase and this is achieved by properly setting expectations and answering all questions up front. Besides, you can also visit our radar detector superstore in Morley, WA, and see most popular products and discuss your requirements in person.
The internet is inundated with reviews and videos of radar detectors and laser defence systems; however these reviews concentrate solely on the absolutes of detection range and jamming capability and little more, awarding a top rating to a radar detector simply because it had the longest range. Many tests made in the USA, are on frequencies or laser equipment not used in Australia and at significantly stronger signal strengths that are much easier to detect. Such tests are not a true representation of performance and detection capabilities when used in Australia. When properly informed and presented with the real facts it is much easier to buy a radar detector or laser defence system with confidence.
Here is what we think you need to consider in order to get the best defence where you do most of your driving.
Note these are general recommendations; please contact us for any specific advice.
Western Australia - Perth and surrounds.
There are a number of systems in use in and around Perth.
– Mobile cameras: New mobile laser cameras (Poliscan Speed) have been in operation since the middle of 2010, and have replaced the Multanova radar cameras. The POLISCAN SPEED laser cameras are also in use in some of the regional areas outside Perth. Unlike the Multanova these units use a digital camera and are operated with a remote camera which may take pictures from the front and or rear of a vehicle and across up to 6 lanes of traffic in both directions. The Poliscan Speed mobile camera constantly sends out swept invisible infrared laser beam (904nm) whilst operating so where the laser unit is facing an oncoming vehicle it can generally be detected from reasonable range (up to ~300 metres) with a radar detector which has good laser detection functions. A laser defence sensor can also similarly detect the operation of these cameras and may give increased range under some circumstances. Note this camera's operational range is between 10 to 75 meters.
Under certain circumstances the Poliscan Speed camera can be very difficult to detect; such conditions may include:
Heavy traffic: where other vehicles block the laser light from the camera to your detector/sensor.
Rear facing cameras: is where the laser from the camera is directed to the rear of the vehicle as it goes past the camera; the best defence against these rear facing cameras is a rear facing laser sensor.
Angled camera: in this situation the camera is sending its laser beam at wide angle across the road, this may give you very minimal warning; the best defence against these angled cameras is an angled facing laser sensor.
– Laser guns: The laser gun uses a pulsed invisible infra-red light operating at 904nm (similar to the laser camera) in a very narrow focused beam; it bounces this beam off the vehicle to determine the speed.
Hand held laser guns are used all over WA, whilst most radar detectors can detect the laser they are not really an effective defence as the problem is twofold.
- The laser gun can often determine vehicle speed very quickly giving you very little reaction time if your radar detector detects the presence of a laser signal.
- The laser gun is generally aimed low on the front of a vehicle at a number plate or headlight, having radar detector mounted inside a vehicle there is a chance it will not detect the narrow focused beam from the laser gun.
The only effective defence against a laser gun is active laser defence such as the Laser Interceptor or one of the Stinger systems.
– Fixed cameras: Operate from a number of intersections in WA; these cameras can determine if a vehicle has gone through a red light and/or if it was speeding. These cameras use inductive loops in the road to determine vehicle position and speed. The only defence against these is a GPS system, either a separate unit or combined with a radar/laser detection system with the known positions of the cameras loaded into the GPS database. Such combined systems include the Stinger VIP, Stinger Card, Escort 360CI, Escort 9500IX, and the Escort Redline EX.
– Patrol Cars: Police patrol cars generally do not operate their radar systems in built up areas as it may be difficult for them to determine which vehicle the radar is locked onto in dense traffic.
Western Australia - Regional.
These are the main systems used for detecting speed in Regional WA.
– Patrol Cars: Police patrol cars are much more common outside the built up areas and use radar (radio detection and ranging) to determine vehicle speed. WA police patrol cars utilise K band; a good quality radar detector may detect the radar from patrol cars from some distance away (in some case several kilometres); however care should be exercised as warnings may be very limited in some circumstances (contact us for further information).
– Laser guns: The same laser guns used in Perth are also used in regional areas so the same defence applies (see above).
– Mobile cameras: The same mobile cameras used in Perth are also used in some larger regional areas so the same defence applies (see above).
A very sensitive radar detector can provide adequate warnings of these Multanova units, such systems include the Whistler Pro 93GXi, Stinger systems and Valentine One.
MOTORCYCLE RADAR DETECTORS AND LASER DEFENCE.
– Motorcycle Detectors: We have tested a number of radar detectors specifically designed for use on motorcycles and found that they are generally not suitable for local conditions; the main problem with all the units we have tested so far is that they are tuned for North American conditions and lack the sensitivity to give adequate warnings on the low power radar cameras in use here. We have therefore come up with some solutions using the standard radar detectors and laser defence products designed for car use; this gives some other advantages in that the same product can often be moved from vehicle to vehicle and gives a much wider choice of product. We have adapted a number of audio and visual solutions to adapt standard radar and laser defence products for this purpose including audio alerts via Bluetooth audio senders and custom visual alerts. The Bluetooth samples below are indicative only. Actual devices supplied may vary.
Please give us a call if you have any specific requirements as we can often engineer custom solutions.
Outside Western Australia.
There are various systems in use around Australia to detect vehicle speed.
Please check local laws in regard to using radar and laser defence systems outside Western Australia. Local authorities may use devices such as radar detector detectors to detect users of radar detectors where legislation has prohibited their use; some radar detectors are not detectable with this equipment: these include the Escort Redline EX, Stinger VIP, Stinger Card, and Escort 360CI(The latter require expert installation) and Laser Interceptor system(laser defence only, also requires installation). All these systems are electronically undetectable.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the operation of radar detectors or laser defence systems outside WA.
– Mobile cameras: Most of the mobile cameras in use around Australia are radar based, mostly operating on K band, this will however vary from state to state, but K band and Ka band only radar bands used throughout Australia all other bands should be turned off or disabled. These cameras use a very low power radar transmitter which means that a good quality and very sensitive radar detector is required; the units listed above are recommended and will generally give a reasonable warning that one of the cameras is operating in the immediate vicinity.
Note also that trials are underway in many other Australian states of the Poliscan Speed mobile laser camera as used in WA.
– Fixed cameras: Operate from a number of intersections and other sections of road all over Australia these cameras can determine vehicle speed or in the case of an intersection speed and or a red light infraction. Most of these cameras may use inductive loops in the road to determine vehicle position and speed, the only defence against these is a GPS system, either a separate unit or combined with a radar/laser detection system with the known positions of the cameras loaded into the GPS database. There are also a few fixed cameras using laser to determine vehicle speed, again a GPS system is probably the best defence against these although a radar detector or laser defence system may also be a useful way to combat these units. There are also some timed distance systems (Point to Point) in use which record number plates at two set positions several kilometres apart, using the minimum transit time to calculate speed infractions. Systems which include fixed camera positions include the Stinger VIP, Stinger Card, Escort 360CI also a standard GPS system or GPS based smart phone application may provide some warnings of these fixed camera positions.
– Patrol Cars: Police patrol cars mostly operate outside built up areas and use radar (radio detection and ranging) to determine vehicle speed. Most police patrol cars outside WA utilise Ka band and some K band, a good quality radar detectors may detect the radar from patrol cars from some distance away (in some case several kilometres); however care should be exercised as warnings may be very limited in some circumstances (contact us for further information).
– Laser guns: The laser gun uses a pulsed invisible infra-red light operating at 904nm (similar to the laser camera) in a very narrow focused beam, it bounces this beam off the vehicle and back using delayed time differences to calculate the speed of that vehicle.
Hand held laser guns are used all over Australia, whilst most radar detectors can detect the laser they are not really an effective defence as the problem is twofold.
The laser gun can often determine vehicle speed in less than half second(very quickly) giving you very little reaction time if your radar detector detects the presence of a laser signal.
The laser gun is generally aimed low on the front of a vehicle at a number plate or headlight, having radar detector mounted inside a vehicle there is a chance it will not detect the narrow focused beam from the laser gun. The only effective defence against a laser gun is active laser defence such as the Laser Interceptor or one of the Stinger systems.