I recently decided to upgrade from my barely adequate Cobra XRS-9330, to a mid-high end detector. The Cobra was purchased 2 years ago with a Target gift card I had left over from the holidays, limiting my options only to either it or the 9430. Not doing any research or thinking much of the purchase, I felt better knowing I had some level of protection. In defense of the Cobra, I never received a ticket with it, and did have 4-5 true KA saves(heart stopping, hard braking saves at best).
A few months ago, after seeing a friend's Escort 8500 X50 in action, I began researching test results of various detectors. I decided on purchasing a new mid-range detector, and it came down to either the Bel Vector 895, Whistler 1793, or Whistler Pro-73. This was until I had a lucky find at a local flea market. I snagged a used Bel Vector 985 in pristine condition for only ...........$50! It turned out to be a very early, pre-FCC ID, V5.3 detector which is rumored to have the greatest sensitivity among the many revisions.
Locally, TPD uses KA (CO and IO), LIDAR, and some constant-on K in the older cars. Florida Highway Patrol, as many of you know, are engaged in a never ending love affair with Instant-On KA :roll:. KA is by far the biggest threat.
Bel Vector 985 Review:
Range: My first KA encounter actually happened while I was sitting in my driveway. At a perfect 90 degree angle to the road, with the detector pointing into the woods, it alerted to a LEO approximately 15 seconds before visual conformation. I waited a while before pulling out onto the road to put some distance between us. Immediately, the signal ramped up, fully alerting at level 9. Having no one behind me, I dropped back further and further, but even with a mile between us, the signal I received from the LEO's rear radar did not drop below an 9. The real test came as the LEO went around a long 60 degree turn, eventually facing westbound. With just over 3/4 mile distance between us, absolutely no line of sight, and dense foliage, I never lost a lock on the signal(Fluctuated between 1 and 2). I maintained a signal from this LEO for 10 minutes of highway traffic, until he or she must have turned.
K-Band was tested on a permanent, solar-powered, "Your Speed Is" sign. The sign is at the bottom of a fairly tall hill, around a 45 degree turn. I consistently got a range of 0.8 miles from this low power, and quite finicky sign(sometimes it would not report a speed at all.)
X-Band is detection is useless in this area, and I have yet to have a LIDAR encounter. I have found that bright, aftermarket, LED taillights in a dark parking garage set off the laser alert.
One major thing that impressed me in both instances was how smoothly the signal ramp up occurred, and correlated perfectly to the distance between the radar source and myself.
Features: From Tech Mode to AutoScan, this detector offers just about every feature you will ever need. City All mode is VERY effective at eliminating K-band Cobra falses, as well as the usual automatic door alert. Individual bands can be turned off, and the display can even be inverted to allow easier access to the controls when mounted high.
Style: I personally believe it to be one of the sleeker looking Bel's, along with the STi. Definitely looks better than the current Vector series, yet it can do this without screaming "STEAL ME!"
Overall I am extremely pleased with this detector, and for only $50, who wouldn't be. If you need excellent KA detection that competes with the top 4 for 1/3 or better the price, don't pass up to Bel Vector 985.