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  1. #1

    Default Newbie Q: Performance of radars when directed w/traffic

    This maybe covered somewhere else but I couldn't find it. All the reviews on radar detectors I have read have all had radar directed at/towards an incoming vehicle. Now how well do the detectors work when the cop car is sitting on the side of the highway and is directing the radar with the direction of traffic. That is the officer hits you with radar when you are passing him.

    Can the Escort x50, V1 or the RX65 be able to detect this? And if so, how far away can one of these units alert you BEFORE you pass the officer. I've had some units which couldn't detect any signal until I'm within a 100 feet of the police unit.

    From a physics standpoint, this would be very difficult to detect as very few radar waves will scatter behind the Officer for any radar detector to alert you, even if the radar was on continuous mode.

  2. #2
    Speed Demon
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    There is no easy answer to this question. Yes, all three are able to alert you under these conditions, but how far?? that depends completely on the conditons around you...terrain, traffic, etc..... Sorry man, that's about the best answer you can get

  3. #3


    I understand the conditions etc will affect this. I just think that the people who review radar detectors are MISSING this vital information when testing the performance of these detectors.

    This would be a deciding factor as the cops in my area sit around in their cars doing radar exactly this way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    x2 (jdreynss) it also depends on the band,instant on or constant on, ive detected ka band from the rear for up to about 1/2 a mile, like jdreynss said it all really depends on the circumstances and conditions. i think you shouldnt have any real problems just be sure the dtector has a clear line of sight all around your car then if the leos like to shoot in the rear of the car

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    many uninformed people (similiar to my brother) think that if the radar detector can detect the radar signal, that it means the leo already knows your speed.

    This is both correct & incorrect at the same time.

    For Instant-on, this could be considered correct in the thought that when your rd alerts, you have already been had. (if you are the only car on the road, or the cop wits to target you first)

    Now, if this cop lights up another vehicle with radar, ( or is running "always-on" radar, this siganl will relfect in any direction that is geometrically possible, and this reflection will be picked up by your detector and it will alert you to it long before he would be able to get a speed reading.

    So, if you are approaching a cop from behind, and he is pointing radar to the front. anything in front of that radar will reflect that signal back to you. including a buliding, stret sign, & another car.
    But if he is using instant-on, and he waits to get you without activating it before you get there, you will not get an alert till you are targetted.

    Did that scenario help what you are asking?

  6. #6
    Lead Foot
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    K-55 land


    Are you referring to an on-ramp scenario where the trooper is on the left shoulder of an on-ramp to an interstate, AKA the NJST Ambush?
    If so, these are my thoughts:

    1. Hope there's a yield or merge sign (reflector) if you don't have a rabbit.
    2. You'll get several alerts for several successive rabbits for 1st tier detectors due to reflections from the vehicles that are targeted.
    3. You'll be vulnerable to the LEO mis-identifying your vehicle for another that is either faster or bigger, and may be on the other side of the median.
    In fact, this may be one of the greater virtues of an RD--slowing down so as to decrease the risk of a mis-ID.


  7. #7


    I do alot of highway driving, and most of the time I encounter LEOs sitting on the side of the highway with their radars pointed in front of them (direction of trafffic). My POS radar detector can't detect these signals well until I'm extremely close to/if not almost beside the police vehicle.

    My primary concern before choosing V1, x50, rx65 would be how well these detectors are able to pick these radar signals PRIOR to me passing the police car. All the reviews I have read do not show how well detectors are able to pick something up like this.

    To Switchback, thanks for the reply. It's not necessarily to pick up reflection as you can not always count on something reflecting the radar back. I was more wondering more on the perpective that if the officer was just using "always on" radar pointed in direction of traffic. Assuming no reflections from other vehicles etc, how well do these detectors pick up the signal PRIOR to passing the LEO on the side of the highway? I also understand that if the LEO was using "instant on" I'd be pretty well toast since I've been targetted, once I passed the LEO on the side of the highway.



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