I have been an 8500 owner since early 2001 and have had no problems until the day before Thanksgiving this year when I was pulled over and issued a citation for speeding courtesy of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. The trooper said she was using radar, but my detector never went off prior to the stop. While she was in her car writing the ticket, the detector suddenly blurted out a full strength K band alert momentarily. I told the trooper that my detector didn't go off and her response was something along the lines of "I leave the radar off most of the time and turn it on only to clock speeders and some times their radar detectors don't go off". Okay, so I gather she was using instant on. Fair enough. But, are there situations where instant on will not set off a detector, or more specifically, will not set off a Passport 8500? Could she have been using POP?
I also wonder if there may have been something wrong with the detector itself. As I said, I bought it in 2001. It survived a car fire (long story) in 2002, and I sent it back to Escort after this because the "service required" indicator came on. I lost the original carrying case during the fire, so it has not been kept in the case since then. It has been dropped on a couple of occasions wen it fell off the windshield because of the suction cups. The last few months before this incident, it had been giving me laser falses like crazy - whenever I would step on the brakes, use the power door locks and windows, etc. The detector hasn't had the best life, so is it possible that internal damage could have affected it so it didn't detect the K band signal that day?
This whole thing has been kind of a bummer. On the upside, I did call Escort and exchange my old unit for the new 8500 X50. So far, so good with that. As for the ticket, I got an attorney and I think he just wants to plead guilty. It sucks, but I was speeding so I deserved it. I just wish my little buddy hadn't let me down.