I couldn't find the "Introductions Forum", so I guess I'll just give a short one here and then dive right in.
I'm a radar detector hobbyist from way back to the beginning of the "sport", and my experience includes being a manufacturer's rep for the old Snooper brand (I do not rep or sell ANY automotive electronics - including anything to do with radar detectors - anymore, nor have I ever had anything to do with law enforcement). My other experience includes having a good friend who repped police radar units, knowing some industry people from the early detector, jammer and police radar days, writing a few articles on radar detectors for car clubs, appearing in the local media as a radar "expert" (when there were no forums or internet, so my meager knowledge was better than most), owning a vintage radar detector collection and also owning a few police radar units. My friends and I were probably among the first hobbyists to do fairly impressive RD tests back in the 70's & early 80's - similar to what it sounds like the Guys of Lidar are doing now.
I have run without a RD for about 12 years (my last detector was an original model V1) and I am just now starting to get back into it. I picked up three used detectors recently - one old one for fun (Escort Passport 5000) and two because I got great deals on them and wanted to see if they could cut it as my daily runner - a Whistler XTR-550 and a BEL Vector 995 (S7, late 07).
The Whistler is actually a pretty polished, easy to live with RD, but it has two flaws that bother me - one is that once it establishes band identification it doesn't change until all signals end. In other words, if it picks up an X door opener but then a Ka police radar comes on the scene while still in range of the door opener, it continues to alert X (but does track proper signal strength) as long as one signal is still present - even if the only signal still present is the Ka! The other flaw is that even though it is generally quiet, it goes X band full alert within a mile of a communications tower array that all my other detectors remain silent for.
Yesterday was my first day with the 995 and I had what I believe are some serious issues. First of all, it was a sunny day and while I was driving south, into the sun, the unit pretty much alerted Laser continuously. Neither the Whistler or the 5000 gave any Laser falses when I switched to them. When I would turn around and head north, or go under a bridge, the Laser alert would stop.
The other problem is a seriously slow response time to instant on Ka radar. I own a BEE 36 Ka unit and a number of X and K band guns, so the first thing I did is bring everything out to the car and test the 995's response time. On X and K band it is a tad slow (1/4 of a second?) but not too bad, but on Ka it takes a good two seconds for an initial alert. I tried turning off the voice and that did not help at all. I tried POP on and off and that had no effect. The BEE 36's antenna and the 995 were only 3 feet apart, in case that matters. No matter which band I used, this is an area where the Whistler XTR-550 smoked the 995 - the Whistler is virtually instantaneous no matter which band or gun I used. Even the old 5000 only has a few millisecond lag.
I started driving around with my BEE 36 and could flip it on, clock a car, and turn it off again without the 995 ever making a peep. It doesn't catch up after the fact either - if the gun is off before the 995 alerts, you never get anything.
Whoa, this is disconcerting! Do I have a defective unit, a setting that can be changed - or is this just the way this model responds to Ka?
Thanks in advance for any feedback and I look forward to being part of the community in the future!