i've had issues before with the fraying cords from radioshack but this is not that. The cord is newer and the green light on the cord is still working and no signs of wear. In the past few months the dim feature was doing goofy things like going totally invisible but the detector worked (i go past 2 spots every single day and confirm this). And some 'goofy' times it would just turn off and on, like a frayed cord.
i'm not very electrical minded but i do have a cheapo meter if there's something i can test
and assuming this is dead i guess i gotta lotta research to do being out of the game 20 years...PA only does staties thankfully with radar