Despite buying a "city" detector for the "highway" driving I do, I was pleasantly surprised today on my first real road trip with my 9500ix. I had to go from Clovis, NM to Las Vegas, NM to pick up a family member at the train station and head right back. On this 340 mile trip I had no less than 4 encounters, all legit saves. If anyone has ever traveled around this region they know these roads beg to be driven on. They are mostly one lane in each direction, flat with nothing around for miles, and have 10+ mile straightaways before they curve or hill. PSL is 65MPH 99% of the time.
I was first alerted to stationary C/O K band on US84 going towards Cannon AFB. My past experiences had been pretty bad with K band so I hit the brakes hard...only to keep driving and driving and eventually find him sitting at the underpass, about 2 miles away facing me.
My 2nd encounter was a bit more tricky. Traffic was pretty sparse, so I was being careful for I/O shots and trying to always keep a rabbit in front of me. When I inevitably needed to pass my rabbit, I'd then wait for oncoming traffic to clear (I could see for miles) and then gun it to catch up to the next rabbit. While approaching the rear of a small sedan, I received a weak Ka band alert. I slowed and maintained about a half mile spacing with the vehicle in front of me, the Ka alert would then drop, then alert again. After about 4 oncoming cars passed me, I realized the LEO was the vehicle in front of me. I had the pleasure of following him going 65MPH for about 10 miles before he finally got someone. It was a good experience actually, because while watching him I gained a better understanding of how I/O radar is used. The only downside is I had no way to warn the oncoming motorists, and felt pretty bad. The LEO finally flipped around to tag someone and me and the 7 series bimmer on my 6 were off to the races again.
The next encounter was on my way home. I was on US84 South almost towards Fort Sumner when I received a pretty strong Ka band alert. Since I was on a small curve with a downward grade, I slowed quickly expecting only a short distance between me and the state trooper. I came out of the curve and received a strong blast of Ka band, then dropped signal. 2 oncoming cars later, here comes Mr. State Trooper with I/O Ka band ready to blast me going down the hill. Total warning ~approx 1 mile.
My last encounter came shortly after, passing through Fort Sumner in a 30MPH zone. I normally do not speed in the cities anyway, so I was going PSL. I received an alert at well over a mile before I passed a LEO shooting C/O Ka band from a gas station into oncoming traffic.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of my 9500ix. I had some scares at first that I can't really account for, but I definitely feel a lot better now. With smart use of rabbits, slowing on hills/corners, and just plain driving smarter, I had more than enough time to react to every alert. While I'm sure it would have been easier if I had done my research and purchased the Redline instead, I am definitely not disappointed and will not be looking to "upgrade" any time soon. The 9500ix paid for itself today, and on top of that allowed me to pick someone up 170 miles away and return in just under 4 hours.