$30-70: as nonjoke as possible
I've been through a few radar detectors in the past, but currently am just looking for really as cheap as possible, that still isn't complete garbage. It's just meant as an interim one.
I started with some $20 whistler just for fun, knowing it wouldn't work. Ended up returning it within the 30 days because it stopped working completely. A year later, I got the 7500s for a trip, and traded it up for the x50 after a day. Was real happy with that for over a year until I went to canada and had it snatched. Been without one for a long time, and figure I'll buy another real one in a year or so maybe. I don't do any serious speeding, but there's some real nasty traps in town, where multiple people get flagged. If I had something that could at least capture that for me / constant on when I'm driving local, that'd help.
FWIW, k/ka is used locally. Really just a few nasty places where it gets downhill and speed limit drops from 50 to 30.
edit: at the moment, I'm leaning towards the pro58. anything better?
edit2: ack. read in another thread and got the impression pro58 would be around 60 or so. just saw it's more like 120. hmm.. back to the drawing board
edit3: i'm a retard. see it for 75. looks like i'm sold if you guys agree?
I don't even know where to begin. With that little money, just put it in your wallet and save up for a real radar detector or roll the money up in your window so the cop that pulls you over can get a really crappy bribe.
If Ka is used in your area, then you really only have two choices are far as inexpensive goes -- the Whistler Pro-73 or Pro-78 or the somewhat better current model Bel Vector 940. The Bel 940 is about twice as sensitive on Ka compared to the Whistler Pro-73 or Pro-78, but most importantly both models feature relatively consistent performance across the Ka-wide spectrum. These models perform very consistently for Ka 33.8, 34.7 and 35.5 frequencies whereas all cheaper models are essentially dead on one or two of these Ka frequencies -- mainly because they have to filter out emissions from Cobra radar detectors to prevent false alerts! The cheap radar detector models which are dead to some Ka frequencies employ simple notch filters in order to filter out leaky Cobra radar detectors. This is why almost all of us here hate Cobra radar detectors. Why? Because Cobra radar detectors cause other brands of radar detectors to generate false alerts, and because filtering out the leakage from Cobra radar detectors presents a major headache for all other radar detector manufacturers who want to suppress false "Cobra" alerts yet have good sensitivity on those Ka radar frequencies.
Spending less than $150 dollars on a radar detector is a complete waste of your money if Ka band is used in your area since, when you are caught, the speeding fine plus the increased insurance rates for the next few years will easily costs you at least $200 and likely much more. Be smart and get, at the very minimum, either the current Bel Vector V940 or the Whistler Pro-78.
If you can be patient for around a month -- maybe two -- Whistler will be coming out with a new firmware revision for the Pro-78 which (if the rumors are correct) will put its Ka performance well within the same class as the Bel Vector 940. If this pans out, then the Pro-78 will offer the most "bang for the buck" since its performance will be very similar to the Bel Vector series of radar detectors and since the Whistler comes with a 3 year warranty versus the 1 year Bel warranty.
Well, this is my advice for what its worth!
I agree with Michael there, if Ka is in use, you'd want Whistler Pro 78 or a Bel Vec 940 as a minimum baseline.
Thanks for the input. I figured as much, but was really hoping. I suppose I could try and extend up to the $130 range to accomodate the pro78/940, but at that point, I'd rather be keeping my eyes open and hopefully getting something much better in the used sector.
Just a question about the 940: it's lower ranking than the 965? My friend's had a 965 for a few years. After my x50 got taken, I used his 965 on a few trips. I had a hard wire setup right up top behind the tint strip. It didn't effect the x50's performance much at all, but the 965 seemed to be pretty much completely blind behind the tint (nonmetallic). I take it the 940 would probably be similar, and need to be placed below the strip? And same goes for whistler?
Unfortunately, the craigslist for my area is pretty lacking. But I'd be willing to go into the higher 100's for a good used x50 (I remember my x50 gave me selfcal messages a few times)
If you really must only spend around 70, the Pro58 would seem to be a viable choice. It does like to report on the Cobras in the area, but it does an adequate job on constant on Ka for someone who is not speed that much over.
As you can see in the recent GOL tests, the V940 would be a good option if you are looking for a "keeper," and only spending about $150. The XTR-690 from Whistler can be had for around 20 dollars less if you look around. The Pro-78 can be had for around the price of the V940. You might be able to find a used X50 if you are willing to spend around $200.
buy whistler xtr 220 for 70 bucks in walmart, its pretty good .
Your friend's 965 should have performed very similarly as the X50 if mounted in the same location behind the nonmetallic tint strip. You mention that your friend has had his 965 for a few years. Was he in the habit of leaving it baking in the sun when he parked his car? If so, then he could have burned up the Ka LNA at the front of the horn. This would kill Ka sensitivity by 8dBm according to the manufacturer's specs for the LNA. Anyway, this is a good example of why buying "used" isn't always a good idea.
Originally Posted by ziddey
If you can afford it, try to get a new V940 or Pro-78, or possibly a used RD if the seller has only owned it for a few months and swears that he/she has never left it roasting in sunlight within a parked car. At least this will increase your odds of getting a fully functional used RD.
Yoda of Radar
I was amazed how well it did at GOL testing!!! :shock: :shock:
Originally Posted by jdong
If your looking for inexpensive but not top of the line, give
the Whistler Pro 58 a test drive.... Have a friend who owns
one and saids it works very well...